• Premier League

Obertan completes Newcastle move

ESPN staff
August 9, 2011
Gabriel Obertan was only ever a fringe player at Manchester United © Getty Images

Gabriel Obertan has joined Newcastle United on a five-year deal after leaving Manchester United for a reported fee of £3 million.

Former France Under-21 international Obertan, 22, made four Premier League starts for the Red Devils following a June 2009 switch from Bordeaux.

The winger found himself pushed further away from the first-team picture after the arrival of Ashley Young this summer, and Sir Alex Ferguson has now decided to cash in on him.

He is the fifth French-born player to arrive at St James' Park this summer, following Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid.

The signing of Obertan will increase speculation that Joey Barton, who operated on the right of midfield last season, is set to leave the Magpies.

"Gabriel is a player I've watched for the last couple of seasons since he arrived at Manchester United," Newcastle boss Alan Pardew told nufc.co.uk. "He has great pace and excellent technique and he has improved his power in the last 12 months and is ready now to make a real impact in the Premier League.

"I contacted Sir Alex about him early at the start of the summer to see if there was an opportunity to bring him to Newcastle, but it wasn't until Wayne Routledge joined Swansea that we were able to bring him in.

"His best years are ahead of him, which is exactly what we want at this club, and with the backing of our magnificent fans I'm sure he will prove an excellent signing for us."

Obertan added: "It's a good club, with quality players as well, so it won't be easy for me. I was looking for a fresh start and come in with plenty of ambition. I am hungry for football so I'm just relieved.

"It's always sad to leave a big club but I didn't lose much signing here."

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