Benitez Makes Enquiry About New 28 Year Old Defensive Midfield Target


The latest player Newcastle have been linked with this summer – and we’ve linked with an awful lot – is Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons.

The news is that the 28 year-old 6ft 2ins defensive midfielder, who has 8 caps for France, has fallen out with Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas.

Gonalons had a disappointing season last term, although Lyon still finished 4th in Ligue 1, behind Monaco, money bags Paris Saint-Germain and OGC Nice.

The report is in French daily L’Equipe and it seems Maxime Gonalons is now for sale this summer.

28 year-old Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons

The player is reported to be available for only  €5M (£4.3M) and there is reported interest from Rafa Benitez, but after having a poor season in Ligue 1, how would this player fare in the much tougher English Premier League?

It’s interesting that Rafa had tried to sign Gonalons at both Napoli and AC Milan when he was manager at those Italian clubs, but he was not successful.

But Rafa will definitely bring in another defensive midfielder this summer to challenge young Isaac Hayden for the starting position, with local lad Jack Colback expected to be sold this summer.

The news is that Rafa has already talked with Maxime Gonalons representatives.

This potential deal will depend on the reports Rafa has received of the player last season from his contacts and they are not likely to be very good.

So it will depend on whether Rafa thinks he can get the best out of the player who joined Lyon at the age of 10 and it’s the only club he has ever played for.

Maxime Gonalons has appeared 334 times for Lyon with 13 goals and 12 assists  – and while he’s cheap enough we wonder if he would be  good enough for Newcastle in the Premier League?

That’s the real question.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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56 comments so far

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jun 16, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #1

    Zzzzzz…SIGN SOMEONE ALREADY GEEEZZZ!!!

    1
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #2

    Rafa made his first NUFC signing on the 29th of June last year

    0
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #3

    Gaz

    I think at present we have by far the weakest squad and arguably 6th or 7th best manager in the league

    2
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #4

    Wwsbrd

    Yes he did make his first signing then and we also lost our first 2 games in a league where we were by far the strongest. We won’t be the strongest in PL and players will need time to settle and get a proper pre season under them under a new manager. It’ll not work out well if the core isn’t with us come start of pre season training

    6
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #5

    Our Toon
    How do we have the weakest squad in the league? Huddersfield dont have a squad once their loans leave, Brighton are as thin as u get in depth, Swansea have 1 player, Burnley, Watford and Bournemouth are at worst on par with us

    5
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #6

    Our Toon
    By far the strongest in the league last season to by far the weakest this one when 2 other teams in the previous league have joined us in this one?

    When does our pre season start?

    0
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #7

    Wwsbrd

    Weakest in terms of ones that are already in the league. We are obviously stronger than the 2 that came up, hence my comment we were strongest last season. Should have clarified that I meant out of teams all ready in the league

    2
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #8

    I believe it starts in just under 2 and half weeks. How do you think it’s gone so far? Content, happy or a little disappointed that we haven’t made more in roads?

    0
  • martoon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #9

    Just a theory but maybe it just seems like a long to make a signing because our season finished so early with getting automatic promotion. As others have pointed out last year our first signing was at the end of June yet somehow it didn’t seem to be so late?

    3
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #10

    Our Toon
    Ah right fair doos mate but for me I dont see us being streets behind Swansea, Burnley, Watford, Bournemouth…Id even add West Ham and West Brom on that list and really we only need to be better than 3 teams next season (1 if u count in Huddersfield and Brighton)

    And aye ur right preseason starts July 3rd so 2 and a half weeks which is a lifetime in football terms ud probably have another week of little movement at least because players are on holiday or championships etc

    Personally am content theres very little going on really, if we get half way through preseason and no ones come in then I will start to worry but right now everyones on holiday barely anyone is moving I just dont see the big deal

    1
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #11

    martoon
    Because we were all happy Rafa was staying so we were distracted this year we dont have that so everyone is solely focused on transfers

    0
  • gazthehillbilly

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #12

    our toon,

    6th or 7th best manager??

    Conte
    Jose
    Wenger
    Klopp
    Pochettino

    Am I missing anyone?

    Other than Moaninho who else has won European trophies? Domestic titles (conte-yes)

    Squad I agree is more difficult to gauge but stoke, Burnley, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Brighton, Swansea, Palace, West Ham, West Brom and whoever else I forgot were utter dross last season and most were never in danger of relegation. We were quite dull to watch last season as Rafa had us set up as a premier league side, a season worth of pre-season in my eyes!

    1
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #13

    Id not have Klopp being better than Rafa like or Pochettino who I like and has a fantastic Spurs side but has won nothing has he? Wenger is on a downward curve as well

    Pep, Jose and Conte aye probably better though (until Rafa wins something with us then hes the best the world has ever seen)

    1
  • martoon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #14

    WWSBRD – Yeah I guess that is a factor as well. Really it is only the big transfers that have happened so far to Everton, Man City & Utd – I can’t remember any others. I would expect transfers about the same time as last year i.e. end of June & beginning of July.

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #15

    Am I missing something with this lad did he have a bad season last year? I thought he was meant to be really good and his whoscored (aye I know but I didnt watch him last year) has him very high on ratings and playing a lot in a team that finished 4th

    0
  • gazthehillbilly

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #16

    My bad forgot Pep!

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #17

    martoon
    Aye it seems to be statement signings so far Pep needs to spend big after a poor first season and Everton have to make up for Lukaku leaving (which will hurt them massively)…has Man Utd done business? Hadnt noticed that who they bought?

    0
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #18

    Gaz and wwsbrd

    Yep I think rafa is around 6th or 7th best, I’ve put klopp and poch ahead of him, klopp for what he achieved with very little prior to joining the prem and since being in the prem they’ve both managed to kick on even further.

    I don’t over look the fact a novice in zidane has completely transformed a side which rafa wasn’t get the best out of, he’s spent very little as well. At Milan he joined a side that had just won the treble and failed big time. Rafa did well at napoli bit even they kicked on further when he left.

    Rafa has always done well in cups and not so well in leagues, I think he won the league with Valencia but correct me if I’m mistaken but I can’t recall him winning another league title.

    The younger breed coming in are playing a new pressing style which is leaving behind some of the older tacticians, Rafa is a top class manager who’s best days were possibly during his Valencia and Liverpool days. That’s why I have him 6th / 7th

    1
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #19

    I think man Utd bought Lindoff, not sure if that’s gone through yet though

    0
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #20

    Its good to see us shopping in the bargain basement once more – anything for a profit, with little risk. Whilst money does not guarantee a good player – we do go after the last year of contract / free / fallen out with boss/coach etc.

    So much of the new Ashley – same same – expect a long hard season with the excuse of the ‘takeover’ affecting transfer plans.

    0
  • giimps

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #21

    There’s also the u21 tournament happening now so possibly a few players were linked with will be playing in that, I hope so anyway, young and hungry rather than old and looking to bulk their pension fund.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #22

    Regarding Rafa not being included in the top 6 managers list above, that of course is only one persons opinion, but if you ask a lot of scousers, they will put Benitez above Klopp any day. i work with a few and they all prefer him.
    As for transfers, i said last wk that our targets? seem to be getting cheaper. and Gonalons, who had a poor season is in the Diame price bracket.
    I dont agree that players being away on holiday are hampering us from securing any deals, its the agent who does all the negociating , and all the player needs to do is pass a medical. A few phone calls to keep the player updated on the deal is all that is required.
    I bet quite a few bloggers would of expected more signings in by now and are getting anxious.

    0
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #23

    gimp – every scout / agent on the planet will be there. Any player having a good tournament will attract bids from top clubs – bidding war is something that we wont compete. At best we at get a loaner – more likely ‘we couldn’t get them over the line’

    1
  • martoon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #24
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #25

    Our Toon
    Klopp is good but Id have Rafa over him personally and Poch needs to win something before he can be considered in my eyes but just my opinion. Rafa has won things pretty much everywhere hes gone and left a good team behind (which as much as I like Jose he doesnt always do)…end of the day though next season not 1 manager will look at Rafa as a lesser and more often than not they will look up to him

    Aye ur right that Benfica lad has gone to Man Utd I missed him cheers

    0
  • hibbit

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #26

    BlacknWhiteBarm
    sorry mate but your believing what the press say and they are just as much in the dark as we are
    we have no idea where we are shopping and neither do they we don’t have a clue if it’s aldi or m&s

    1
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #27

    martoon
    Cheers mate thats a chunk of change for a defender isnt it

    Id love us to get Smalling from the fall out and I read West Ham had dropped their interest in him but I dont think Jose and Rafa will do business

    1
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #28

    hibbit – fair point – but recent history would suggest hat we wont be paying top wack this window – 17th position is the target.

    Hope to be proven wrong

    0
  • giimps

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #29

    There’s nothing wrong with shopping in the bargain bins as long as what we get is better than what we’re replacing or competing with, I don’t care how much we spend as long as we’re competing and building, organic growth is key, improve the academy, improve the u18-u23 and build a team , i agree with gazthehillbilly, last season the club initiated a way of playing to take us forward into the premier league, we lost a few games mainly due to mistakes and poor officiating but on the whole the system worked, that builds confidence and once we cut out the mistakes, with better officiating and poorer players replaced, we will be better at it than last season, but we will need to be as the opposition is much better at the top end of the league, but similar lower down……the main difference in the prem to the championship is that every team have players capable of hurting you in the prem and there are less games to recover from a bad patch

    3
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #30

    So general opinion is Gonalons would be a bad signing? Even for under 5 mill? Has he had that bad of a season?

    0
  • gazthehillbilly

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #31

    Giimps,

    Glad someone agrees, had many discussions at work on this. Didn’t see it myself the first few games but as the season went on realised that although we were on paper stronger than the opposition we set up to counter/ play the underdog (premier league style) as opposed to going all out to outplay teams, mind you we still kept a lot of the ball!

    I got one can’t wait for the season to kick off! Been this way since I can remember(1987/88 as a 6-7 yr old)!

    United united united!

    0
  • WLtoon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #32

    I wonder if there is ANY truth about the Abdenour link, he would be a great addition to the squad and has plenty of experience at top level. At 12M he should be well within our price range, though if its true that Everton are also interested then i think they will pay better wages. They seem to be throwing money around like confetti in this window.

    0
  • AncientC

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #33

    WWSBRD, do you rate Dalglish as a better manager than Keegan, as Dalglish won a title?

    0
  • AncientC

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #34

    “I don’t care how much we spend as long as we’re competing and building.”

    Unfortunately, that is not the way it works. You have to spend to build and compete. It is no coincidence that the top 6 sides in the PL have the top 6 wage bills. You could always wait to do a Leicester, but we would be waiting a very long time. We only have a finite amount of time left until the sun burns out – so I wouldn’t hedge my bets.

    0
  • Jib

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #35

    Dalglish was clearly a better manager than Keegan overall
    In the footballing backwater that is NE England it is not so clear
    However KD got us to Wembley

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #36

    AncientC
    No but thats for emotional reasons

    0
  • AncientC

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #37

    “In the footballing backwater that is NE England”

    Or better known as a Thunderous Fort that squashed sides with all-out Imperialist warfare style football… under that guy, Keegan.

    If you view things that way, jib, look to your old buddy Mike Ashley. A billionaire who is such a shy-lock, he will not even allow ‘his’ football club to naturally grow through its own revenues.

    1
  • booboo

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #38

    what is going on ?? why no buys why so low standard of our transfer links . did we really make 20mil bid for cairney if we did im pissed. selling mbabu what why and maybe mitro crazy !!! leiva and reina 18year old tammy when we got armstrong same potential cmon benitez u got to be kidding me. i dont like the look of this tranfer window at all we are looking on buying second rate players. am i the only one worried. this aint no championschip. this sh….ruining my summer !!! yeeeaaahhhh we got tammy abraham and reina we gon win the league.!! im scared we gon get stra8ght down .

    3
  • Our Toon

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #39

    Jib

    Pardew got West Ham to a final does that make him better than Keegan?

    0
  • RUNAWAY777

    Jun 16, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #40

    So which team will be us to this player my god some people believe out only time to believe is when the player signs on the dotted line iam just waiting for there favourite words we could not get them over the line or the goal posts have a been moved wake up man.

    0

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