Steve McClaren adamant that Florian Thauvin still has a future at Newcastle United – despite having been sent back to France.
The winger returned to former club Olympique Marseille on a six-month loan over the weekend after a disappointing five months on Tyneside.
The best thing was for him to go and play somewhere. Marseille wanted it, we think it’s a benefit for him – and us. But he comes back in the summer and is a Newcastle player.Steve McClaren
Thauvin’s departure followed the £12million signing of Andros Townsend from Tottenham Hotspur.
Head coach McClaren felt the 23-year-old had to leave to get games – as he would not have played had he stayed at Newcastle.
“I think, one, he needed to play,” said McClaren.
“Two, we bought Townsend, so that would limit his ability to play.
“The best thing was for him to go and play somewhere. Marseille wanted it, we think it’s a benefit for him – and us.
“But he comes back in the summer and is a Newcastle player.”
Asked if Thauvin still had a future at St James’s Park, McClaren added: “Absolutely.
“He’s a good player ... (but) one of them players who has found it really difficult to adapt to the league, the physicality.
“Maybe experiencing it, going away, playing regaining a bit of confidence and coming back in the summer there’s another opportunity.”