We saw glimpses of how good Gabby Obertan can be for Newcastle last season, but some niggling injuries seemed to interrupt his progress a bit last term.
Gabby Obertan in action against Blackburn last season
There’s no doubt Obertan has a lot of skill and is a good technical player, and that’s true with most of the French players, who are schooled in the basics when very young.
And Obertan also likes running directly at defenders, which can scare the living daylights out of them, and looked very good in some of the games last season.
So with an injury free season next term, we think (and hope) that Gabby can improve his play on Tyneside.
This is what Gabby, who was born in Pantin in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, told the local press today:
“I am looking forward to finding some rhythm and coming back fully fit.” “You always need that. Everybody had a great season last year and we’ll look to build on that.”
“As a first-team player you have to prove all the time what you can do in front of the manager.” “No matter if that’s in training, friendly games, reserve games or first team.”
“You are always looking improve and catch the manager’s eye.” “I showed last season I can play in a different position when needed.” “But you just want to play your part no matter where that is.”
Gabby played 25 times with one goal last season for the Magpies, and that was a big improvement over his two previous seasons at Manchester United, where he played only 28 times with one goal.
Obertan played for all the French Youth teams at U16, U17, U18, U19 and U21 level – appearing 11 times with one goal at the U21 level.
But Gabby has never been capped by France at full International level, and we also have to remember he’s still only 23.
This lad still has time to do very well at Newcastle, and then maybe force his way into the full French side, and that’s what we’ll be hoping for over the next year or two.