The 25-year-old made his name in England with us after we picked him up from Metz for a fee of just £500,000 at the start of our relegation season. Inevitably that was his only season with us as he scampered off to Tottenham for £8m as we slipped down to the Championship.
However he was our best player in that ill-fated campaign according to the fans who voted him our Player of the Season. Whether that is anything to actually be proud of is a subject for debate however. Was he really good? Or did he look better being the best of what was a pretty bad bunch?
The need for defensive reinforcements will ensure that we get linked with many different defenders over the coming weeks and months. Bassong is not the first and he won’t be the last, but he is perhaps the most interesting as we already have an idea of what he can do in the Premier League.
I probably wouldn’t make a move for the Cameroon defender. It would be easy to say that he deserted a sinking ship when the going got tough but my opinion isn’t based on that. I just don’t think a deal for Bassong is something that the club would be interested in, for a number of reasons.
The first one is that Tottenham don’t sell players on the cheap. Daniel Levy has shown time and time again that he will only sell for the right price and that price is likely to be somewhere close to the £8m he paid for the player just two-and-a-half years ago.
Secondly Bassong’s move to Tottenham would have come with a payrise no doubt. I’m unsure what his pay package is but I’m pretty certain that it will be more than what he would be offered at Newcastle.
Finally, look at the bigger picture. Signing someone like Bassong would be ideal as they can play from the word go, but what happens when Fabricio Coloccini returns? Then when Steven Taylor returns?
Those two have proved to me that they are our first choice pairing in the heart of defence and Bassong would have a battle on his hands trying to stay in the team when they are both fit. Would Bassong be up for that battle? Past history would suggest that he wouldn’t be…
Whilst we do need defenders, I wouldn’t think we’d end up with this particular defender for any number of the reasons outlined above. If we are to get one in then I expect it will either be on loan or another Graham Carr special.
Next rumour please…« Who do we turn to? | A look ahead at free transfers »