Yoan Gouffran has given an interview with nufcTV and he talks about the conversations he had with Rafa Benitez last summer when Rafa told him he could find him a new club if that’s what he wanted.
But Rafa also told Yoan he was happy with him if he wanted so stay – presumably because of the effort the Frenchman puts into training and he was a good influence in the squad.
Well the rest is history, with Yoan having his best season ever at Newcastle after joining us from Bordeaux back in January, 2013.
Yoan Gouffran with Rafa Benitez
He has played 36 times with 7 goals for Newcastle this season and back in the 2013-2014 season he played 39 times with 7 goals when he was a fixture in Alan Pardew’s team.
This is some of what a rejuvenated Gouffran has said in his nufcTV interview:
“I want to play for you, for Newcastle.”
“Last year was really hard for me because I didn’t play a lot, I didn’t play in my best position either, and I wasn’t involved.”
“When we changed the manager I was injured so I didn’t play towards the end of the season.” “Then there was a new season with new ideas.”
“The manager has been honest with me, saying: ‘If you want to move we can give you a move, but if you want to stay you can stay because I am happy with you.’”
“And he has given me my chance, and I think I have done well.” “I enjoy playing again.” “When you don’t play, you are in a bad mood all of the time.”
“But when you play and you are involved, it is different.” “Maybe it has helped reinvigorate me because the mentality is different.”
“We try to play good football, we try to score goals and I play in my position – so I enjoy it.”
“Christian Atsu did well. Sometimes you have to change the team for fresh legs or whatever.”
“We know we have a lot of quality in the squad, everybody can play and we have to push to play.”
“It’s good for everybody to have competition – it’s good for me, it’s good for him, it’s good for the team.”
Yoan is in the final year of his contract at Newcastle and it still seems a toss-up whether he will have his contract renewed by Rafa Benitez this summer.
We’d like Yoan to get a two year extension, simply because he has played well for the team this season and he can help Newcastle in the Premier League – hopefully that’s where we’ll be next season.
Yoan has made 127 total appearances for Newcastle with 19 goals in the just over four years he’s been on Tyneside and his fine form this season is an example of Rafa’s man-management skills.
Last season Steve McClaren had simply given up on him.
That’s one difference between the last two Newcastle managers – but there are lots more – we’ll leave it at that.
What do you think?