Florian Thauvin – What went wrong?

Florian Thauvin is a French winger who was signed by Steve McClaren in the summer of 2015. Thauvin was purchased for £13 million on a five-year deal. The Frenchman came with the promise of a huge amount of potential. Manager at the time Steve McClaren said that he is “One of the best young players in Europe”. However, it didn’t quite work out for him like that.

The Frenchman came to England with a lot of expectation weighing on his shoulders. In his last season, Thauvin scored 5 goals and created 4 assists. Impressive stats for 21-year-old at the time. What could go wrong? A young winger with a lot of potential and for not a huge fee, everything seemed perfect. In football, however, things don’t quite work like that. After 13 games and no goals scored, it was apparent that Thauvin wasn’t cut out for England.

He made his debut for Newcastle in late August against Manchester United and showed some signs of potential. The high point of that match was definitely when he almost broke Luke Shaw’s ankles with some fancy footwork. Alas, it was all downhill from there. Thauvin wasn’t putting in the required performances and was constantly barged off the ball. To make matters worse, he was attacked in an attempted robbery, the same reason Di Maria wanted to leave Man Utd. Eventually, the 1-0 loss to Watford was breaking point. Fans chanted “You’re not fit to wear the shirt,” this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Finally, in August, Thauvin was loaned back to his old side Marseille with an option to buy. End of story, except not really. The Frenchman has been tearing it up Ligue One this season, scoring seven goals which is three off his highest scoring season. His highest amount of goals in a season is 10 for Bastia in the 2012/13 season. I think Thauvin has really found his level in France. He’s really benefited from the lower standard of opposition. It’s such a shame someone with talent like him could never transfer his ability over to England.



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