At first Newcastle’s French connection was a mere quip – the club had ventured to France for a number of deals, and the joke had it that they would set up a camp there permanently to bring a steady stream of French talents across the Chanel. And now, 18 months after it was first mentioned, it’s a reality.
Following one of the busiest weeks in Newcastle United transfer history 4 more Frenchman have arrived on Tyneside to make it 10 in Newcastle’s 25 man squad, including a number of full French internationals. The influx of talent from across the pond has been so sudden that some fans have been left scratching their heads over who’s who and who does what; so just who have the Magpies signed and, more importantly, are they any good?
Let’s go through them all…
5. Mathieu Debuchy
- Pronunciation: Math-yer Deh-busch-ee
- Position: Right Back
- Former club: Lille
- Age: 27
- Fee: £5.5 million
What to expect: Very good friends with Yohan Cabaye (who was apparently instrumental in Debuchy’s arrival on Tyneside) since both were youth players at Lille almost 10 years ago. Currently establishing himself as France’s first choice right back (ahead of Bakary Sagna) Debuchy is a very modern full back who is confident going forward and strong in defence.
First team: Has already usurped Danny Simpson as first choice right back (though the Englishman’s injury won’t have helped his cause) and looked solid if unspectacular so far. Expect his form to improve in the coming weeks as he learns more about the pace of the English game and establishes an understanding with his new team mates. He and Hatem Ben Arfa could be the right side of Newcastle United and the France for the next 5 years.
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This article was first posted on January 27, 2013