Former Newcastle United winger Florian Thauvin has opened up about his difficult stint at St. James’ Park.
The French winger was signed by the club in August 2015 for £15 million from Marseille.
He ended up making just 13 Premier League appearances for the club in 2015/16.
In January 2016, he returned to Marseille on loan, and then embarked on a second loan spell with them for the whole of the 2016/17 season.
He then made his move permanent that summer.
Dishearteningly for Newcastle supporters, Thauvin has gone on to become one of the most dangerous wingers in France, posting hugely impressive goals and assist tallies.
Last term he fired 26 goals in all competitions, and in his loan season prior he scored 15.
‘No one was there to help me’
Thauvin has given an interview about his time as a Newcastle player – and it’s sure to make Newcastle fans feel very annoyed with Steve McClaren, who was manager of the club between June 2015 and March 2016.
Thauvin told Onze Mondial, as quoted by The Shields Gazette: “It’s all a lot simpler. I made the wrong choices in the past, no one was there to help me at that time, and that’s why I got it wrong.
“I wasn’t playing at Newcastle. I ended up at this club lost, no one talked to me. My phone never rang. I had my family and my girlfriend.
“That’s when I decided to grab the bull by the horns and said ‘I’m going back to Marseille and I’ll make a name for myself’. And that’s what happened.”
McClaren and Benitez must be held accountable
Thauvin’s comments must be hard to stomach for the Toon Army faithful.
It certainly looks as though he didn’t get the arm around the shoulder he perhaps needed to become a success.
Clearly the ability was there, but the belief from management level was not.
Current manager Benitez has to shoulder some of the responsibility. He too could perhaps have made a bigger effort to block Thauvin’s departure, and now the club are surely regretting his £9.8 million sale.