Rumours have been circulating this week linking highly strung Frenchman, Charles N’Zogbia, with a return to Newcastle in the summer. The talented French winger has picked up nine league goals and seven assists this season and he has been a key player for Wigan since he joined them in 2009. This was once again evident at the weekend where his two goals at the DW Stadium kept Wigan’s survival chances alive. Having fought off interest from N’Zogbia’s former club once this season Roberto Martinez will no doubt do all he can to keep the player in Lancashire, however if Wigan don’t avoid the drop it may be out of his control. Newcastle launched a bid in the region of £10 million on the last day of the January transfer window which was rejected by The Latics, but Newcastle seem willing to test Wigan’s resolve again. This raises the question, would bringing N’Zogbia back to Newcastle be a good move for Toon Army?
There is no doubt that N’Zogbia is a quality footballer who on his day can produce moments of magic and he would be a good edition to the Newcastle squad. The fans know what he can produce and he has proven Premiership pedigree, but do Newcastle need him? I wouldn’t say the club necessarily need him, as Newcastle already have Jonas Gutierrez and Hatem Ben Arfa. There are other positions that need filling more urgently than left wing within the current squad, such as a centre forward. Having said that I would probably say N’Zogbia is a better player than Jonas, as he has an end product to his game as well as the build-up play, something which Jonas lacks. N’Zogbia has a cracking cross and he can certainly shoot, whereas both of these attributes are, let’s say erratic in Jonas’ case.
I’m still undecided on whether bringing back a player who said he wanted to leave to reach a higher level of ambition, and then signed for Wigan, is the best move though. I think N’Zogbia used his fall out with Joe Kinnear as an excuse to engineer a move away from the club, so would the fans want to see a player who showed a lack of respect for the club return?
If Wigan are relegated then N’Zogbia will almost certainly leave Wigan in the summer and bringing him back to St James’ wouldn’t be the worst bit of business if the deal was in the region £10 million. On the other hand, if Wigan avoid the drop they will probably exploit any potential sale of their best player and look to receive upwards of £15 million, a price I don’t think Newcastle should match.
Any potential deal to bring the mercurial winger back to the North East could turn out to be a stroke of genius from Alan Pardew. N’Zogbia seems to be a more mature player now and he could have a prosperous second coming, much like Nolberto Solano did. However, I would still have reservations about bringing back a player who could be a disruptive influence and is likely to want to leave again at the first sign of trouble. Only time will tell if the recently capped French International will be seen in the black and white stripes again.