It's a mark of how well Yoann Gouffran has started at Newcastle United that his departure from the field with an injury at White Hart Lane at the weekend was an important factor in his side eventually losing the match.
The regard he is held in by fans was also shown by the dismay at the news that he might have broken a bone, and the relief when it was revealed that his injury was relatively minor.
Gouffran was one of several reinforcements brought in in the last week of the transfer window, and has had an impact perhaps only bettered by Moussa Sissoko in his first few matches. Most of these deals happened after the Loic Remy deal fell through, and Newcastle fans have several reasons to be glad they never signed the Frenchman now at QPR.
Firstly Remy would have been a significant lay out, both in terms of transfer fee and wages. Newcastle might have budgeted for this, but it's unlikely they would then have gone on to sign Gouffran, Haidara, Sissoko and Yanga-Mbiwa had they brought in Remy. Gouffran himself was a bargain due to his contract expiring in the summer, and so far there's every reason to suspect he will fit in the Newcastle side more naturally than Remy.
Whilst Gouffran can also play through the centre, he is clearly adept playing on the flank of Newcastle's attack, allowing Papiss Cisse to operate in his favoured role. Whilst the Senegalese striker is still not hitting top form, he is the key striker that Newcastle need to get firing, and Gouffran is a better foil for him than you suspect Remy would have been, with the former's work rate standing out already in the matches he has played for Newcastle.
All in all the failure to sign Loic Remy now looks to have been a blessing in disguise, as Newcastle have brought several excellent players in with relatively cheap deals that also have fitted their wage structure. Yoann Gouffran in particular has stood out as a clear demonstration that second choice doesn’t always mean second best.