Newcastle’s new signing Florian Thauvin did not have a good season last season at Marseille, which is one reason we were a little surprised that his French club held out for so long after Newcastle had offered good money for him earlier this summer.
In his press conference yesterday, Steve McClaren said that we nearly signed Thauvin about six weeks ago, and that offering Remy Cabella in part exchange had already been decided before he joined the club in June.
Florian Thauvin in training on Friday
McClaren said that it was the Frenchman’s crossing ability that was one of the reasons he wanted Thauvin brought in, and particularly for new boy Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is good in the air, and that was key to Newcastle signing Florian.
And former Newcastle winger Chris Waddle, who played three seasons at Marseille, had said earlier this week he thinks the young winger can become a top player on Tyneside.
Florian gave a press conference yesterday and he was a little nervous and spoke through an interpreter.
This is some of what he said, starting with his form of last season:
“Last year was hard for me,” “But I’m here now and I think I can have a fantastic season.”
“Newcastle have bought very good players this summer, young players like me, and hopefully it can be a springboard for this club, and for me, to go on to big things.”
“I’m a fast player on the wing,” he says. “I will keep the ball and give great service to the forwards. I can bring something different to the team.”
“Physically, I’m ready to play at Manchester United. I can’t wait to see Old Trafford. It’s a great ground, a massive team and I can’t wait to get out there if the coach says he wants me to.”
“I’m not too sure where I’m going to play yet. It’s up to the coach. But wherever it is, I’ll make sure I’m up to the task.”
“First of all, I’d like to thank Chris Waddle for that nice compliment.” “It’s very kind. I hope to be one of the best players in the world. I need to make sure I work hard to achieve that goal.”
“I like playing both. On the left I can put great crosses in and give good service to the forward. On the right I come inside and shoot or slip a pass in behind the defense.”
“It will be very hard but playing for France at Euro 2016 is definitely a goal. If I can have a good season, I don’t see why not.”
“I’m surprised in a good way to see such a well organised club here.” “I had my first training session today and it was really, really good.”
“The manager and I have had a long chat. He’s asked me to be an important player. He wants me to get goals and he wants me to supply them too.”
There’s nothing wrong with Thauvin reaching for the stars and wanting to be one of the best players in the world – it you don’t aim high you’ll never reach your potential.
Steve McClaren also said the training session was very good yesterday, and he sad there was a lot of ability and talent in the current squad he has.
We expect Thauvin to be on the bench today in what will be a (very) difficult game for us at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils coming into some form against Club Brugge on Tuesday night in their 3-1 home win.
We have to show a lot more resilience at the back than we showed last week at Swansea, which looked too much like last season for comfort.
The Newcastle defense is still a concern at the moment.
What do you think?