There is a French revolution underway in England and it is happening in Newcastle of all places.
The latest French star to move to Tyneside is Moussa Sissoko, who Newcastle signed from Toulouse last week.
Sissoko is the fifth French player to join Newcastle in the January transfer window, joining Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mathieu Debuchy.
The Sissoko signing takes the number of French players at Newcastle to an amazing 11, while Cheick Tiote, Gael Bigirimana and Papiss Cisse are also French speakers.
The French connection is causing controversy on both sides of the English channel with the French sports paper L’Equipe has also accused Newcastle of using Ligue One like a “discount supermarket”.
But one advantage that Newcastle has over other Premier League clubs is that because Newcastle have so many French players, they are on French television far more often than any Premier League clubs. This is turn increases their profile and makes French players more likely to be interested in joining them.
I have no problem with all the French players that Alan Pardew is bringing in. And I disagree with Steed Malbranque who said last week:
“It will be a problem, I think, because, without meaning to, at the beginning, the French players will stick with each other,” Malbranque told a press conference. “If some of them don’t speak any English then they will only talk to the other Frenchmen. That could lead to the creation of cliques and could create problems in the squad. I hope not for them, but there is a risk.”
Pardew is an experienced enough manager that I don’t expect him to allow the dressing room to get split along language lines.
My concern with the players that Newcastle is that some of their buys seem to be quality over quantity.
Moussa Sissoko is a fantastic signing and I really like Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. But the jury is still out on the likes of Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy.
Newcastle are involved in a relegation dog fight and they will need their new signings to come in and hit the ground running and have an immediate, positive impact. I am just not sure if all their signings can do that.