In January both Arsenal and Newcastle pushed hard to bring in another French player to join their considerable contingents. Newcastle were at one point vastly considered the favourites to snap up French youngster Florian Thauvin from Bastia but in the end the 20-year-old decided against a move to the Premier League for mixed reasons.
It appeared he decided a move to Ligue 1 side Lille was best suited to him due to their proposal of sending him back out on loan to his current side Bastia. Here he knew he would be assured of first-team football so he could continue his development on a regular basis.
While Newcastle and Arsenal would have been disappointed on losing out on the attacking midfielder it was not going to be a deal they lost any sleep over. Talented yes but a game changer he had not yet proven to be.
Now that may be changing; especially after this weekend’s heroics.
Thauvin was the star of the show as Bastia handed out a 4-1 humbling to Le Championnat chasers Olympique Lyonnais. He scored his first goals since signing the loan-deal from Lille to help the Corsican outfit complete a shock result at the Stade Armand Cesari.
While the performance of Wahbi Khazri certainly caught the eye the two goals from Thauvin helped complete the rout and all but secure the Ligue 1 safety of I Turchini for next season.
For Newcastle and Arsenal missing out on such a dynamic and versatile player will certainly be an annoyance and keeping an eye on his progression when he moves to Lille may be necessary.
Who knows; he may yet play in the Premier League one day.
image: © korobukkuru