Newcastle United would not have been able to offer Hugo Ekitike more game time than he is currently getting with Paris Saint-Germain, after the 20-year-old snubbed a summer switch to St James’ Park, according to journalist Dean Jones.
Eddie Howe oversaw a steady few months of business during the transfer window and eventually broke the club’s transfer record to sign Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad.
What happened with Ekitike?
It is understood that Newcastle held ‘positive talks’ regarding the purchase of Ekitike from Ligue 1 side Reims in the summer.
A fee of £25.6 million was being discussed and a five-year contract at St James’ Park was on the table for the then-teenager.
However, BBC Sport later reported that demands made by the player’s agent led to any potential agreement between the clubs collapsing.
PSG were then able to agree a loan deal for Ekitike’s signature with a £25.5 million option to buy included at the Parc des Princes. The player himself later revealed that PSG are the only club he would have joined over the Magpies.
But Ekitike has struggled for game time since making the move, failing to start a match for Christophe Galtier this term.
Newcastle later completed the signing of Isak for £60 million, instead, as Howe continued to put his mark on the North East giants.
What has Jones said on the situation?
Jones believes that, even if Newcastle had signed Ekitike this summer, they still would have moved for Isak as well.
The journalist says that the Frenchman, therefore, may have still struggled for game time amid competition from Isak and Callum Wilson.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “To be honest, I don’t think he would have got much more game time with Newcastle than he has at PSG. You could think, ‘that was a bad move for him,’ but, ultimately, I think Newcastle probably would have signed Isak as well anyway.”
Did Ekitike make a mistake?
It does appear that the player was always going to find a move to PSG hard to resist, so it is difficult to blame him in that respect.
But in terms of his career prospects, it seems a strange choice. He was never likely to displace either of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe or Neymar so minutes were always going to be limited.
While he may have ended up down the pecking order at St James’ Park too, it is much more likely he would be given a chance to shine.