Gouffran, Yanga-Mbiwa and Sissoko: Hit or miss?
Newcastle may have feared the worst when they lost out to QPR in the race for striker Loïc Rémy. But the Magpies finished the January transfer market with a vengeance, signing five players to take their tally to a whopping six in total. Of those six, the Life’s a Pitch team give their verdict on whether Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (pictured, right) from Montpellier and Toulouse’s Moussa Sissoko will be the next Yohan Cabaye, or the next Xisco.
“It’s a very good deal,” says the Sunday Telegraph’s Jason Burt of the £2.8m purchase of Gouffran. “He’s a very talented, technical player. The one reservation with him is that he’s perhaps a little bit lightweight and it might take him a while to get used to the physical side of the Premier League. But I think at £2.8m they can’t lose on this deal, so I think it’s going to be a hit.”
The People’s Tom Hopkinson is equally confident about Sissoko’s likely long-term impact at St James’ Park. “He’s a good player, and he hit the ground running in his first game [in the win over Aston Villa]. He’s already started to win the Toon Army over. There were a lot of fears on Tyneside that all these French players coming into the side is not a great thing. But they only have to look back at the way Yohan Cabaye came into the side and did such a great job. I think Sissoko could prove to be of a similar mould to him. So, I think he’ll be a hit.”
But the versatile £6.7m Yanga-Mbiwa might not enjoy the same success, says the Sunday Mirror’s David Walker. “I’ve got one big concern for that boy in that he’s very versatile: he can play across the back four, he can even play as a holding midfield man. And when you see that Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor are back, I’ve got this dread that he could be the utility man who becomes a James Perch, in that he slots in here and there and never commands a single position. He’s talented. If he gets a chance to nail down a place he could do alright. If two thirds of [transfers] come off the manager is happy, I just have a fear that the utility boy there might be one of the failures. I fear a miss.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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