Though few will remember it now, former Bordeaux and Manchester United winger Gabriel Obertan was actually at one time rated as a genuine prospect.
He made his debut for the Ligue 1 side at the age of just 17, and his rise of the youth ranks at various underage levels for France certainly suggested that he would go on to represent Les Bleus at senior level.
He signed for Manchester United for £3m in the summer of 2009 (presumably in a misguided attempt to soften the blow of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving for Real Madrid), but to say that things never worked out for Obertan would be an understatement.
In two years at the club, Obertan made just four Premier League starts before ultimately being sold to Newcastle (for roughly the same fee he was bought for) two years later.
His time at St. James’s Park was not hugely successful either, with a record of just 33 starts over the course of a five year spell at the club.
His last appearance for the side came as a second half substitute in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea last September, and, as of today, the 27 year old now finds himself without a club.
Newcastle have announced that they have released both Obertan and French compatriot Sylvain Marveux from their contracts early, as neither were likely to feature for the Magpies at any point between now and the end of the season.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 5, 2016
In a statement on the club’s website, Newcastle said:
“Newcastle United can confirm that Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux have left St. James’ Park by mutual consent.
“The contracts of the French pair were due to expire this summer, but with them almost certainly not going to feature in the Magpies’ remaining games of the 2015/16 season, a settlement was agreed earlier this week, allowing them to find new clubs.
“Everyone at Newcastle United wishes Gabriel and Sylvain the very best for the future.”
Marveaux joined Newcastle at the same time as Obertan but did not fare any better at the club. Having failed to agree terms with Liverpool, Marveaux instead chose to move to the North East but his time there turned out to be something of a nightmare spell for the 30 year old.
He spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Guingamp, and although former Newcaslte boss Steve McClaren sporadically hinted that he was ready to give Marveaux more game time, the former French under 21 inernational has not played one second of first team football this season.
G. Obertan & S. Marveaux combined #NUFC stats:
126 apps, 5 goals
Cost per app: £248,000
Cost per goal: £6,250,000 pic.twitter.com/1x399oI0xC
— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) May 5, 2016
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