Rafa Benitez didn’t have Yoan Gouffran in the 18 man squads for the first two games of the season, which ended in two defeats.
But on Wednesday night the Frenchman, who has been frustrated these last couple of years playing very few games for us, started the game against Reading on the wing and he put in a good performance and worked his socks off for the side.
He contributed to two of the goals and almost scored himself with an acrobatic overhead kick in the first half.
Yoan Gouffran in action on Wednesday night
And when Yoan was brought off late in the game, he got warm applause for his efforts from the Geordie crowd.
Rafa has talked about Yoan and hints that he could still do a job for the team this season as the Frenchman seems well suited to life in the Championship – he gets stuck in and works like a trojan.
This is what Rafa has said:
“I said after the game that he was doing well every day in training,” “He was doing well for me and doing his job.”
“He’s a player that’s available and training well.” “He’s under contract, so nothing has changed.” “He’s a player that I like. He’s a very good professional.”
“Still we have to wait, but I’m very pleased with him.”
“I was watching him as a striker and then he had to play as a winger and a midfielder.” “He was not very happy because he was not playing very well.”
“The perception outside was that maybe he was not as good as he could be.” “We know it’s not ideal for him, because he’s a striker, but he works very hard so he can play as a winger.”
“He can help.”
Yoan could still leave in the next 11 days, because he has only one year left on his contract, but he would be a very good squad player this season and he could do a job for Newcastle as he showed on Wednesday night.
Yoan works hard and seems to like playing under Benitez, who understands his frustrations after appearing only 9 times last season.
We’d be happy enough if Rafa keeps him for the coming season, even if that means he becomes a free agent next summer and leaves the club for nothing.
Getting promoted next May and getting back into the big bucks of the Premier League is far more important than losing one or two million this summer on one of our players.
What do you think?