Gabriel Obertan’s Newcastle still future in the balance

Georginio Wijnaldum and Gabriel Obertan
Georginio Wijnaldum and Gabriel Obertan

Gabriel Obertan started the season in Steve McClaren’s Newcastle United side – but his future remains in the balance.

Obertan was handed a start in Saturday’s season-opening 2-2 draw against Southampton at St James’s Park.

He (McClaren) told me I’d have a fresh start, and that’s what I expected with new staff coming with fresh eyes and a new vision for the team.

Gabriel Obertan’s Newcastle future in the balance – despite THAT cross for Georginio Wijnaldum

And the 26-year-old repaid head coach McClaren’s faith with a stunning cross for Newcastle’s second goal, scored by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Obertan has just one year left on his contract.

The winger has been on the fringes for much of his four years at the club, and he has been promised a “fresh start” by McClaren.

“He (McClaren) told me I’d have a fresh start, and that’s what I expected with new staff coming with fresh eyes and a new vision for the team,” said Obertan. “It’s a really good start for me, and I’m really enthusiastic for the rest of the season.”

Obertan, however, could yet leave the club this summer given the need for outgoings as well as incomings.

Meanwhile, Wijnaldum was delighted to mark his debut with a goal. The midfielder, signed from PSV Eindhoven for £14.5million said: “We won the ball from their corner, Papiss (Cisse) put it over Gaby and he ran down the line after the ball.

“I sprinted from about 60 metres, Gaby’s cross was great and I ran to the front post and put the header the other way, to the far post.

“When the ball left my head I was just willing it to go in, and when it hit the back of the net my first thought was to celebrate with the fans, and with Gaby, too, because it wasn’t an easy cross to make. The noise in the stadium was amazing.”