Yoan Gouffran appeared only 9 times for Newcastle last season under Steve McClaren, but he seems to be completely rejuvenated under Rafa Benitez and has started the last four games for Newcastle – all wins.
Yoan has entered the last year of his four and a half year contract since he signed on for us in January, 2013 from Bordeaux.
Yoan Gouffran – a revelation this season
Rafa seems delighted with both the form and attitude of the 22 times capped French U-21 International and Benitez had this to say about Yoan after the 2-0 win yesterday at home to a strong Brighton & Hove Albion side:
“Normally he has to stay now. I said before that he had some offers, but they were not good enough, so I gave him the chance to play because he has been a very good professional.”
“So now after playing three games, with three wins and him playing well, then I don’t see any change. The only change is if someone comes with massive money, then I will think about it.”
“I believe he is happy. When a player can see that you trust him, and we can give him confidence, then normally they are happy with that.” “Especially if they are playing.”
“The only thing is in this case is that, if you have a player of this age, and someone comes and makes him a good offer with a three-year contract and big offer, you have to understand that for him it could be important to leave.”
“But in this case the offer was not good enough. I said to him: ‘Look, I am happy, keep going, keep working hard and you will have your chances.’ And he has had his chances.”
“I think it’s important for me to see the team playing well after I have changed players because then the squad is stronger.”
“The message is: They have to compete. They have to realise that the only way to be strong until the end of the season is to have the opportunity to change things and keep the team fresh.”
“So they have to compete and they have to be fresh. They have to realise they must keep pushing and put me in a position where every time I need to decide who to play. I am happy with that.”
Those are really good words from the experienced Newcastle manager, who has built up a strong squad so far this summer.
Gouffran almost scored a brilliant goal against Brighton in the first half when he struck a tremendous drive from all of 30 yards out and it hit the cross-bar as the ball dipped and swerved.
He almost scored another when he volleyed the ball just over the bar and he looked impressive, especially in that first half.
Matt Ritchie on the right and Yoan on the left provided a threat down both wings for the Magpies yesterday.
A club could still come in with a big offer before Wednesday night, after seeing how well Yoan has played over the last four games, but we hope he stays at Newcastle, because he can do a good job for us this season and help us get promoted.
That’s job one this season – get promoted immediately back to the Premier League – no ifs ands or buts about that.
Yoan’s attitude and form so far this season have been outstanding.