It’s not surprising that Newcastle have been targeting France for some of their new players this summer.
French Football Academy – Clairfontaine
Newcastle have had a number of good buys in France over the years, including wingers David Ginola, Laurent Robert, Charles N’Zigbia and defender Sebastian Bassong, to name just four of the fifteen signings Newcastle have made in France since the early 1990s.
Ligue 1 has some very good young players in it, and since the wages in France are quite low, it could continue to be a happy hunting ground for Newcastle.
Newcastle are in the most popular league of any sport in the world, and of course the club gets huge TV revenues each year.
And the news in the Newcastle Journal today is that the club’s new signing Yohan Cabaye, is tripling his wages to come to Tyneside, and will get around £50K/week.
Newcastle fans will be hoping Newcatsle will also be an attraction to Ivory Coast International Gervinho, who presumably will decide next week which club he will join.
And Newcastle have also received some terrific publicity for the excellent and compassionate way in which they have handled Hatem Ben Arfa’a double leg break, since last October.
Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias, former manager Chris Hughton and current manager Alan Pardew have all made trips to the French Football Academy Clairfontaine, just south of Paris, to visit the player while he was recovering from his very serious injury.
And the player himself, one of France’s most exciting young players at the moment, is only too willing to wax lyrical about both the Newcastle club and their famous fans.
It seems that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley sees France as a place to get some real bargains in the transfer market, and we may see many more French-based players arriving at Newcastle over the next few years.
Certainly Chief Scout Graham Carr seemed to take in games almost every week in France since the start of the year, as Newcastle are seen to be making a huge push in the transfer market this summer, in an attempt to vastly improve their squad.
One thing that’s obvious about owner Mike Ashley – is that he likes a bargain – and we should see more of those this summer.