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With Xhaka Hopes Fading, Will Newcastle Turn Back To French Dynamo?


It’s been widely reported over the past month or so that Steve Bruce would like to add another central midfielder to his ranks in January. We have been linked with a few players like Spartak Moscow’s Alex Kral and Strasbourg’s Ibrahima Sissoko.

However, that was before the shock revelation that Steve Bruce wanted to bring Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka to Newcastle on loan in January. A few short weeks ago it seemed a certainty that Xhaka would be leaving Arsenal this winter.

Ibrahima Sissoko– Newcastle close to a deal?

However, Arsenal boss Unai Emery opened the door to a return for the 27-year-old midfielder. He had this to say last week about his former captain:

“He is coming back better in his mind. His mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation.

“My objective is going to be [to use] his comeback to help us and to convince every supporter of his commitment with us and [that] his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the long or short future with us.

“We are going to decide tomorrow but I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable. And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance, being strong with them.”

He decided against involving Xhaka in Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 draw at the Emirates against Southampton. However, he has taken the unusual step of allowing his players to vote for who they would like to be the skipper. The players have opted to stick with Granit Xhaka leaving a murky situation even more unclear.

We’ll see what happens on Thursday as Frankfurt fly to London for a Europa League match. Though if Emery is committed to bringing back the Swiss international, he may prefer to do it for an away fixture at first. Arsenal will travel to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City this weekend so that might be an opportune time to reintroduce Xhaka into the team.

So with Xhaka apparently edging closer to an Arsenal return, the chances of Newcastle getting him on loan are looking very remote. We will likely turn our attentions elsewhere and possibly to one of the players we are said to have scouted.

There was some interesting information provided by journalist Alan Nixon yesterday in regards to one of our midfield targets. A report in the Chronicle shared a tweet from Nixon about Strasbourg’s 22-year-old dynamo Ibrahima Sissoko.

When about Newcastle’s continuing interest in the midfielder, Nixon responded with the following tweet.

Newcastle were said to have been in discussions for the 6’4″ Frenchman at the end of October. The fee mentioned at the time was £13m.

The Chronicle followed up with a report citing sources from Strasbourg that Newcastle had not made any contact for the midfielder. However, Newcastle had opened discussions with the player’s intermediaries.

It seems Sissoko would be a replacement for Mo Diame who Steve Bruce reportedly would have liked to have kept at Newcastle. There is also recent talk that Bruce wants to offload Ki Sung-yueng in January so Sissoko could take his place in the 25-man squad.

Sissoko remains an interesting proposition for January. He has made 16 appearances for Strasbourg this season and is contracted until 2022. He is also a French under-21 international. At just 22-years-old, he definitely fits the profile of a player Newcastle would pursue.


43 comments so far

  • IrishRob

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #1

    Get it, High level!!

    1
  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #2

    Idiot!

    5
  • IrishRob

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #3

    Old High Level does it again! Get in!

    0
  • Mindshaft

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #4

    ???

    0
  • IrishRob

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #5

    What’s the question shaft?

    0
  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #6

    Irishrob when you post it always remnds of the time a dirty big crow came down the chimney once and started flapping around the room squawking and beating clouds of soot into the air. Exactly like that.

    4
  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #7

    Of course you want us to beat every tema we face but tema slike Villa just stand out for a good hiding. I hope we can shove 3 or 4 past them, one of their players sent off for getting his studs caught in his own pants elastic and taking out a ball boy, thats sorta thing.

    1
  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Teams. Teams. T E A M S

    0
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #9

    i think villa arent that bad. we will miss lascelles presence. i wouldnt bet on a win. 3-1 to villa.

    0
  • Mindshaft

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #10

    @IrishRob – don’t worry – just realised you wee talking about first 🙂

    0
  • DaveD1000

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #11

    Tsunk’s famous spell check….110% off in the Black Monday sale

    1
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Nov 25, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #12

    bleatin
    is that because crows are famous for their high IQs?
    😉

    1
  • Spellcheck

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #13

    Happy Birthday Ed, hope your well. Let’s hope we get the win tonight.

    0
  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #14

    4 hours 55 minutes to KO

    0
  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #15

    spellcheck
    Spells you’re – your
    ha ha ha

    0
  • DaveD1000

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #16

    which is exactly when I finish work Jib

    0
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #17

    Bruce talking about the cabbage.

    “It was one of the most unsavoury times of my career. I thought it was a ball to begin with – it was a big old thing. How the fan got it into the stadium I don’t know.

    ‘Stephen Clemence mis-controlled it! My reaction was, “What the f*** is that?”. It didn’t miss me by much. The fans can throw some things, but a cabbage? I went the next day, though, so I didn’t have time to get angry about it.”

    1
  • ChicoUSA

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #18

    Happy Birthday Dr Ed!

    1
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Crucial match tonight. Win and I’m confident we can sustain a season long presence in that battle royale for top 8.

    Hope the lads are chomping at the bit and come out and do some damage to Villa. Lascelles could be a big miss though, people like to dismissively say “now we can play our best 3CBs” – I hope they don’t end up looking silly. Taking an ever present and captain out of the team isn’t often a a good thing.

    1
  • ChicoUSA

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #21

    Jib,
    That Sierra Nevada label would look great on the front of the famous black and white striped shirt!

    1
  • IrishRob

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #22

    Look how easy it is to rile up stupid people. I can literally smell the down syndrome off you from Ireland Bleatin. Phahahaha!!

    4
  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #23

    Mmmm – so folk with Downs Syndrome are stupid.

    What an objectionable, ignorant member of the “ya shyte and scumbag” brigade.

    Really offensive thicko.

    13
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #24

    Centre half’s
    My worry tonight with Lascalles and Clark missing is that we might go with three ball playing centre half’s and not a old fashioned no frills hard tackling centre half.
    Maybe you start Dummett with Fernandez and Schar as our centre backs

    3
  • Toonces

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #25

    To anyone who regularly follows our youth teams, how is Mo Sangare progressing?

    Would think a year or so ago, based on many accounts, that he seemed ready to step up to the first team but has since fallen off the radar.

    Too bad as he might have been the natural replacement for Diame in midfield and would have been good to promote from within.

    0
  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #26

    Due to our non scoring forwards I cannot see us getting a result tonight. Recently Villa have looked ok. So reluctantly I’m also going for a 3 -1 win for Villa. But I hope I’m wrong.

    Should be a decent test though of where we are this season.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #27

    They would surely have to be fair Trade bananas!

    1
  • Mindshaft

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #28

    Agreed – we really need the front three to start scoring – we can’t rely on our defence to continue scoring goals especially given that Schar and Clarke are both out tonight – will definitely be a tough match, Villa have looked decent in those three losses and were very unlucky (or stupid (take your pick)) against Liverpool

    I’m going for an ASM double to give us a 2-1 win….

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #29

    As one of the probable less intelligent people on the blog can I say that I neither want or expect an apology.

    The privilege of merely being able to express the odd comment amongst the superior intelligence’s that exalt the blog with their presence is more than sufficient to stimulate the limited brain cells I have.

    A big thanks for tolerating my idiotic existence.

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #30

    Oh and by the way-:

    Chicousa, Mr Tuff, MIndshaft, Toonces Charlie, Irishrob I just want to say you are all spouting total nonsense and are complete football know nowts, why don’t you all take up Knitting instead of boring the sh!te of us with your verbal diahorrea.

    Sorry but as Jib seems to be usurping my countdown I thought I might as muscle in on his insults.

    8
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #31

    Apologies to any one I didn’t insult who is currently on the blog, please feel free to include yourselves!

    3
  • Bigjim67

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #32

    Really would love us to give villa a good hiding tonight 4 or 5 nil. We haven’t forgot the gloating and the banner when we went down at they’re place, horrible club and horrible fans. However, if we don’t stay solid at the back and don’t take our chances can see us losing. Hope I’m wrong, i usually am!!! Oh and EGB @29 you’re speaking for me there lol.

    1
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #33

    We need another DM in Jan almost as much as we need another goalscorer.

    If Hayden gets injured and is out for a while we have nobody to replace him and will miss him massively.

    I still reckon Jo, ASM and Al will get 25 or more between them, i’s only an average of a goal a game but they need to start tonight.

    HWTL.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #34

    TNMW

    Members of the Corvine family are actually very intelligent, Hugin and Munin were Ravens and members of the Crow family, who accompanied Odin.

    Yet there’s still more to this connection. Ravens aren’t only birds of gore and carnage; they’re also exceptionally intellectual birds, and Odin is an exceptionally intellectual god.

    Magpies are also members of the Corvine family.

    1
  • ChicoUSA

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #35

    EGB @30
    Thanks for the kind words mate….looks like you are after Bladey’s job! 😉

    1
  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #36

    Ha ha ha

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #37

    Toonces

    Mo is still figuring strongly for the U23s and played in their last game against Benfica B, played in the full game.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #38

    Chico

    Naah, Jib doesn’t come up to his standards, I’ll settle for the lesser role!

    1
  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #39

    Quiz question for you Bill
    Don’t google it
    Which bird family is the Roadrunner a member of ?

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #40

    Mr Tuff

    Once our non scoring forwards start scoring there’ll be nowt stopping us, they might as well start tonight.

    Remember we only need 12 goals tonight (and non conceded) to go into the top 6.

    0

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