After almost a year on Tyneside, Frenchman Gabriel Obertan has found himself in a fast improving Newcastle squad, with many players departing and arriving in United’s quest for European glory.
Obertan arrived at St James Park in last year’s transfer window. The 23 year versatile winger became out of favour at Manchester United and like many before him looked for more opportunities at first team level.
The Manchester rookie signed on the 9th August in a two million pound deal as Newcastle head coach Alan Pardew began to bolster a Championship squad with new and young talent.
And it didn’t take long for Obertan to put on the famous black and white stripes as four days later he made his debut, coming on as a substitute against Arsenal. He right away showed he had the pace and adapted very quickly into the team’s system and new attacking style of play.
He was often criticised for his final delivery with many, including his manager becoming frustrated as the young Frenchman constantly found himself in good positions but lacked the cutting edge, longed for from the Toon Army faithful.
But after a bright start on Tyneside where Obertan was a regular name on the team sheet, the former Bordeaux man has lately found himself out of favour, with Hatem Ben Arfa adopting his right midfield position and excelling.
The question asked by many is whether or not Obertan will be able to maintain a place in Pardew’s plans next season, with Newcastle looking to offload their deadwood and bring in European talent.
This pre-season will be Obertan’s chance to show he can perform at the top level consistently and compete with the likes of Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez to prevent the still young and talented rookie the chance to play a major role in this upcoming exciting campaign.
It looks like Obertan will become a squad player with Ben Arfa looking to jump straight back into the Newcastle shirt and carry on from where he and his team mates left off. So for the time being, Obertan will have to prove himself in training and in the upcoming pre season tours to cement his place in a young exciting and entertaining Newcastle United.