BORDEAUX, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 19: Florian Thauvin of Marseille in action during the Ligue 1 match between FC Girondins de Bordeaux and Olympique Marseille at Stade Matmut Atlantique on November 19, 2017 in Bordeaux, . (Photo by Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images)

In the summer of 2015, a young French winger by the name of Florian Thauvin joined Newcastle United in a deal worth a reported £16 million. Having impressed whilst playing for France at under-21 level, Thauvin was also displaying his talent on a regular basis for his club Olympique Marseille. Signing for Newcastle was seen as a step up for the Frenchman, as Premier League football awaited the talented winger. Making his debut against Manchester United as a substitute, Thauvin struggled to adapt to the English game.

Thuavin was given just 16 games by Newcastle before being dropped and loaned back to France; a decision that would help define him as a player.

Unfair Criticism 

During his time in England, Thauvin was once criticised by Newcastle legend Alan Shearer. The Premier League’s all-time leading goal scorer has every right to voice his opinions, but this time around, his criticism could be judged as unfair. Shearer voiced his disapproval after Thauvin turned up to a game wearing a tuxedo. This is clearly a generational issue. Shearer comes from a generation where the tougher you were, the better. Looking good was for the David Ginola’s of the world, not your rough and tough types like Shearer.

Thauvin’s style choices only added to the pressure he was under, as the young Frenchman was struggling on the pitch. Newcastle has always been a club with an expectant fanbase, but for good reason. Despite a strenuous past ten plus years, Newcastle is still a big club. Poor ownership leads to situations just like Thauvin’s. To give a player just 16 games and then simply give up on such potential is beyond ridiculous. However, Thauvin would have the last laugh and Newcastle fans paid the price of the clubs poor choices once again.

Proving the Doubters Wrong 

Since rejoining Marseille for just £10 million, Thauvin has blossomed into a star in Ligue 1. Whilst on loan during the 2016-17 season, Thauvin went on to score 15 goals in 43 appearances. Such form and impact led to the French club re-signing the talented winger for a reduced fee. Heading into the new season, fans in the south of France were excited. Once in mid-table obscurity, Marseille along with Thauvin may have finally figured things out. Having sold Dimitri Payet, Steve Mandanda and Thauvin in recent seasons, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta made the bold decision to bring all three back within the last two seasons. With the team’s core now bolstered with three quality players, Marseille have once again begun to thrive.

Thauvin and Marseille currently sit fourth in Ligue 1 and look set to challenge for a top-four spot all season long. Thauvin deserved more time in England, it’s as simple as that. Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado is the perfect example. Chelsea spent big on the Columbian, yet the pacey winger was given less than 20 games in the Premier League. Since being sold, he has played a key role for the bianconeri. Mistakes, poor decisions always happen in football and no club is perfect. But this is one, Newcastle will pay for in the years to come.

Thauvin currently leads his team in both goals and assists, as the 24-year-old winger continues to prove his doubters wrong on a week-to-week basis.

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