Florian Thauvin has recently told the French press why he left Newcastle’s fight against relegation after only six months at the club and returned to the comforts of playing his football back at Marseille in the south of France.
But the reason he brings up is an odd one – and he says it was because he was not getting first team football on Tyneside.
But it was widely reported that Steve McClaren did not want him to leave the Tyneside club at such an awkward time – and that the head coach had promised him playing time – albeit from the subs bench.
Florian Thauvin – back to France away from the battle
Here’s what Florian has said in the French press about his reasons for returning to the less physical and mental demands of the French League:
“It is true that I did not expect to return so soon, especially as early, six months later.”
“But I had the opportunity, I had a lack of playing time so I thought it was a very good thing for me.”
“It’s a pleasure to return to Marseille. Everyone knows my attachment to Marseille, I have never hidden that.”
“I am anyway very happy to be here to live this second adventure.”
If the reason is really that he wants playing time then he is unlikely to get it at Newcastle next season either, especially since we have signed another winger – England International Andros Townsend – who has quickly started to look the part on Tyneside.
The fact that Florian left the club in the middle of a tough season for us also has to cast some doubt on his character and also on his mental strength.
While he may return in the summer we’d be very surprised if that happens.
And if he does come back it is unlikely he will stay too long unless he is determined to make a success of things in England.
It doesn’t look like that to us.
It seems like Florian is like Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere – they are just not cut out for the physically demanding Premier League – where pressure on players is so much greater than in France.
And when they return to France and do well – like Ben Arfa has famously done this season at Nice to his credit by the way – the press brings it up as though it’s something that Newcastle are now missing.
But the truth is it’s much more difficult to play well in the Premier League than it is in the French League – much harder – because there are better players playing in England – where the big big money is.
Maybe we are simply being too hard on Florian – that’s a possibility – but we’d be very surprised if he ever returns to Newcastle.
A better bet is that he gets a loan spell somewhere next season – maybe at Marseille – as Newcastle figure out how to claw back some of that £13M we spent on him last summer.