Ex-NUFC winger Florian Thauvin has insisted that he was ‘never given a chance’ to prove himself at Newcastle – with the Frenchman insisting it’s ‘completely false’ for people to claim he was not good enough for the Premier League.
Ligue 1 may be a level below the Premier League, but since returning to France has been quite incredible – no matter how little of an impact he made during his time on Tyneside.
He has managed an outstanding 44 goals in 77 games since returning to Marseille, also being part of the France squad that lifted the World Cup over the summer.
Here’s what he’s had to say when reflecting on spell at St James’ Park:
“They clearly never gave me a chance over there. I arrived, I played two or three games as a starter, & then, in the fourth, our striker gets sent off & I end up up front against Arsenal. I don’t play there & there’s no miracle. Then, I never played again.”
“With my girlfriend, we found ourselves alone in England , and then we looked at each other and said ‘What are we doing here?’.
He’s not wrong, he wasn’t given a full chance to prove himself, but his last line above says it all for me. I’m quite sure that his heart was never in it from the moment he signed for Newcastle.
The winger then had the following to say when asked if he still wasn’t ready to make the step up to the Premier League:
“That’s completely false. I’ve changed, I’ve grown, I’ve matured.
“I know myself more and I’ve progressed. Today, I know that I’m capable of imposing myself in England”.
It’s a case of what could have been for Newcastle, however it’s probably a good job he did return to France.
No matter how good he may look now, he did not look cut out or motivated to play in England during his time at the club.