Aborted Newcastle transfer branded a ‘mistake’ on player’s end after butting heads with issue everyone foresaw

·3-min read
PSG striker Hugo Ekitike Credit: PA Images
PSG striker Hugo Ekitike Credit: PA Images

The French media have already suggested Hugo Ekitike blundered by not signing for Newcastle after he’s run into an entirely predictable problem at PSG.

The 20-year-old striker was high on Newcastle’s list of options for the final third this summer. Their interest initially formed in the winter window, though for long periods it looked like it’d be second time lucky over the summer.

Indeed, Reims accepted Newcastle’s £26m bid (including future add-ons). However, reports quickly emerged that cast doubt on whether the move would actually take place.

The Telegraph reported Newcastle’s hierarchy became increasingly frustrated at their inability to complete the move.

From the player’s end, Ekitike reportedly jetted off on holiday at the most inopportune time and contact between the club and his camp broke down.

Newcastle ultimately decided to abandon the move once PSG came calling. The forward only had eyes for France’s biggest club who duly snapped him up on a season-long loan with an option to buy.

The Magpies were left empty-handed, though that situation would change in the final week of the window.

Alexander Isak arrived from Real Sociedad for a club-record fee around the £59m mark. The Sweden international has already showed glimpses he can become Eddie Howe’s main man for the long haul.

Ekitike later explained his decision to put Newcastle on ice in favour of PSG. However, his decision has already been called into question in France.

Mbappe, Neymar, Messi…

Ekitike has accrued a paltry 67 minutes of action through five substitute appearances thus far. Lack of gametime is the biggest inhibitor to progress for all young players, though time on the bench was inevitable in Paris.

The French giant can call upon Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for their front three. Players far more established than Ekitike would struggle to break into that front line.

As such, French outlet Le10Sport have suggested Ekitike may have been better off joining Newcastle.

“Ekitike was notably tracked by Newcastle, the English club had made Hugo Ekitike its priority,” wrote Le10Sport.

“However, this did not happen. A mistake for the PSG player?

“Had Ekitike signed for the Magpies, the former Stade de Reims striker could have had a lot more playing time than he has at PSG.”

Why did PSG buy Ekitike?

Upon relieving technical director Leonardo of his duties, PSG sought to change their playing squad in two ways.

Firstly, they wanted to become more French and secondly, they pushed to lower the age of their squad.

Ekitike ticked both boxes, as did defender Nordi Mukiele. The oldest of their seven summer additions was Fabian Ruiz at just 26.

Ekitike is clearly earmarked as one for the future, though that’ll do little for his development in the here and now.

PSG’s option  to buy stands around the £30m mark. However, it doesn’t appear he’ll have an abundance of opportunities to prove he’ll be worth PSG triggering it.

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