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Newcastle: Where is Gabriel Obertan now?

Newcastle United no doubt had a questionable recruitment record during the Mike Ashley era, with Gabriel Obertan one such acquisition which simply failed to work out for all concerned.

Part of an influx of French talent that arrived through the door during Alan Pardew’s tenure as manager, the winger was signed from fellow Premier League side Manchester United in the summer of 2011, arriving at St James’ Park for a fee of around £3m.

While a relatively small risk move due to the relatively minor transfer fee, it was still a rather bizarre switch at the time considering the Paris-born dud’s struggles during his time at Old Trafford, in which he scored just once in 27 games after joining the Red Devils in 2009.

Although lauded as an “exciting prospect” by Sir Alex Ferguson, the Frenchman never looked of the quality needed to make the grade at the Theatre of Dreams, with journalist Richard Williams suggesting that he looked like a “headless chicken” during his stint with United.

The Tynesiders were seemingly keen to take a leap of faith regardless and bring the struggling youngster to the northeast, albeit with that decision notably backfiring as he went on to endure a dismal, injury-plagued stint at the club.

The 6 foot 1 menace would score just three goals in 77 games during his time at Newcastle, with that fact ensuring that he cost the club £1m for each goal scored in relation to his initial transfer fee.

Throughout his five-year stint with the Magpies, the former France U21 international only once made more than 15 league appearances in a single league campaign, having notably been restricted to just three top-flight outings during the 2013/14 season.

Was it a mistake to sign Obertan?





Unable to sell the struggling wide man, Ashley and co were left to rue their earlier decision to hand the player a lengthy, five-year deal, with Obertan only finally departing in the summer of 2016 once his contract had expired.

Since that long overdue exit, the now 33-year-old has had brief spells at a number of clubs both in Europe and abroad, turning out for Anzi Makhachkala, Wigan Athletic, Levski Sofia and Erzurumspor.

The £293k-rated veteran currently plies his trade for lower-league American outfit, Charlotte Independence, where he briefly played alongside former Magpies teammate and compatriot, Sylvain Marveaux.

Obertan has certainly not gone on to prove any Newcastle doubters wrong over the past six years, with it having been a sad decline for a player of such promise in his youth.