Stadium of Light and St James’ Park boss’s fight it out for Latics winger, but why?
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It is being reported today that the Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is extremely keen on taking the Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia to the Stadium of Light this summer, but may have to shell out as much as £12m to stave off interest from their greatest rivals Newcastle United.
Alan Pardew has been promised that he can spend the full £35m gained from the sale of Andy Carroll to sign the players to keep Premiership football at St. James Park, and N’Zogbia is top of his list. N’Zogbia left Newcastle two years ago after falling out with then manager Joe Kinnear, but was very popular with the Toon Army and could be easily persuaded to rejoin after a couple of years at Wigan.
Today’s People reports that Newcastle tried to re-sign N’Zogbia in the final few hours of the transfer window last month, but Wigan refused to play ball. In the summer, the Frenchman will only have 12 months left on his contract so he is certain to be leaving the DW Stadium as they cash in on the 24 year-old.
Charles N’Zogbia is a decent if not great winger but the amount of perceived clamour for his services seems almost fictional. The French wide man has been linked with a ‘big’ move that has never quite materialised. Indeed when the 24 year old was at St James’ Park he was apparently the subject of interest from Tottenham and Arsenal, yet he ended up at Wigan?
Do either Sunderland or Newcastle United need the one capped French international, a cap he only received when everyone from the World Cup 2010 squad was suspended. N’Zogbia can play on either wing and currently Steve Bruce has the likes of Jordan Henderson (who can play out on the right or in the centre), Steed Malbranque, Kieran Richardson (again very adaptable), Ahmed Elmohamady, Cristian Riveros and a number of other alternatives who do a pretty decent job providing ammunition for their front players.
Alan Pardew has a number of wide options as well, so much so that he sent Wayne Routledge out on loan to QPR. The Magpies boss has the highly rated Argentine Jonas Gutierrez and Joey Barton currently playing the wide roles and the very able services of Ryan Taylor as a back up. Remember also that Hatem Ben Arfa, when back to full fitness will be a crucial part of Newcastle’s attacking plans.
Do supporters of either the Black Cats of the Magpies really want to spend big on the Wigan wide man?