Newcastle look to be signing Manchester United utility man Gabriel Obertan if the gossip lines are to be believed.
The 22-year-old former Bordeaux man will complete his move to Newcastle early next week and will put pen to paper on a five-year deal with NUFC having to pay somewhere in the region of £3 million for the services of the once highly-rated Frenchman, meaning that Manchester United will have recouped what they paid for him two seasons ago.
Whether or not there is any truth in this remains to be seen however as the only hints we have are a bit in the Daily Mail, a bit of gossip on Twitter, plus people putting 2+2 together from the other day when Alan Pardew said that he’d been speaking to Alex Ferguson. Will the sums be correct? Time will tell…
I read a comment from DJG about Manchester United “rejects” and how he wasn’t generally overly enthused about them, and I tend to agree with that assessment. Alex Ferguson rarely makes errors of judgement when releasing players, but it does happen. The problem is that for every Diego Forlan or Phil Neville there is an Alan Smith or Nicky Butt to counterbalance the argument. Again like DJG though, I feel that Obertan would be a decent shout for us.
Once upon a time, back in France, Obertan was very highly-rated and was tipped for big things. He was a fast, tricky winger who excited people and his skills ensured that he represented his home country at every youth level right up to (and including) the U21 level. Then he moved to Manchester United aged just 20 and things kind of fell apart for the lad. No longer was he getting regular first-team football.
He is a talent, but I also think he suffered from the pressure of playing for Manchester United a bit, Perhaps a week in, week out role at Newcastle will help him get back on track? Like or not, he would get a week in, week out role at Newcastle, especially when you consider that he can play right-wing, centre-midfield and as a striker.
So what next? Well I guess I better find the obligatory YouTube video. I did track one down that was just full of skills, flicks and tricks which was good to watch but in fairness it isn’t representative of what Obertan would be doing for the full 90 minutes. However I did find this one which shows a bit more of what he is about.
Good move? Bad move? Time will tell. I was rather shocked to see a comment suggesting that this signing (if it happens) was purely out of desperation. Hello? Are we not kind of desperate? Has there not been mass hysteria over our lack of transfer activity? Will this solve it? Probably not…
However there is nothing to suggest that he can’t be a good signing for us. Playing for Manchester United and playing for Newcastle United are two different things if you take the emotion out of it, and at least Obertan has time on his side unlike our previous signings from Old Trafford!
As ever though, we’ll have to see if anything official becomes of this.