When Florian Thauvin gets mentioned, Newcastle fans would not be blamed if heads were put in hands along with questions of bafflement.
With Remy Cabella going the other way as part of the deal, Thauvin signed for £12m in summer 2015 from Marseille after being placed in Ligue 1's worst XI for the previous season. An excellent home debut gave the fans plenty of reason to be excited for the signing of Thauvin and add some dynamic to what was a fairly sluggish midfield. However, after that debut, Thauvin looked completely lost which meant that everyone at the club was growing frustrated. In the January transfer window, he was sent back to Marseille on loan where he recovered his form.
Now with Rafa Benitez taking over Steve McClaren at the club, Rafa sent Thauvin back out on loan to Marseille for the 2016/17 season, a move that was made permanent a year later.
Here comes the bafflement: Thauvin looked completely lost and did not do a single good thing or was involved in a single goal after his home debut. Since his move back to Marseille, he has been in blistering form which is fair enough - after all, some leagues can be a perfect fit for someone and not work out in others. However, Thauvin in the past few years has been so good that Marseille are having to consistently fend off interest from big guns like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. In addition, he was part of the France squad that won the World Cup in the summer.
Dates: 19th August 2015 to 8th June 2017 (681 days).
Transfer details: Bought for £12m from Marseille on 18/08/2015.
Sold for £9.5m to Marseille on 01/07/17.
Total: 16 appearances, 1 goal.
Season by Season (when Thauvin has played)
Premier League: 18th (Played: 13, Won: 2, Drawn: 2, Lost: 9, Goals for: 6, Goals against: 21, Goal difference: -15, Pts: 8)
League Cup: 3rd Round (v Sheffield Wednesday) - Played: 2, Won: 1, Drawn: 0, Lost: 1, Goals for: 4, Goals against: 2, Goal difference: +2.
FA Cup: 3rd Round (v Watford) - Played: 1, Won: 0, Drawn: 0, Lost: 1, Goals for: 0, Goals against: 1, Goal difference: -1.
Record with Thauvin
League: Played: 13, Won: 2, Drawn: 2, Lost: 9, Goals for: 6, Goals against: 21, Goal difference: -15, Pts: 8. Win ratio: 15%
Home (league): Played: 6, Won: 1, Drawn: 1, Lost: 4, Goals for: 4, Goals against: 8, Goal difference: -4, Pts: 4. Win ratio: 17%.
Away (league): Played: 7, Won: 1, Drawn: 1, Lost: 5, Goals for: 2, Goals against: 13, Goal difference: -11, Pts: 4. Win ratio: 14%.
Domestic Cup: Played: 3, Won: 1, Drawn: 0, Lost: 2, Goals for: 4, Goals against: 3, Goal difference: +1. Win ratio: 33%.
Home (all competitions): Played: 8, Won: 2, Drawn: 1, Lost: 5, Goals for: 8, Goals against: 10, Goal difference: -2. Win ratio: 25%.
Away (all competitions): Played: 8, Won: 1, Drawn: 1, Lost: 6, Goals for: 2, Goals against: 14, Goal difference: -12. Win ratio: 13%.
Total: Played: 16, Won: 3, Drawn: 2, Lost: 11, Goals for: 10, Goals against: 24, Goal difference: -14. Win ratio: 19%.
Record without Thauvin
League: Played: 8, Won: 3, Drawn: 3, Lost: 2, Goals for: 17, Goals against: 16, Goal difference: +1, Pts: 12. Win ratio: 38%
Home (league): Played: 5, Won: 2, Drawn: 3, Lost: 0, Goals for: 13, Goals against: 8, Goal difference: +5, Pts: 9. Win ratio: 40%.
Away (league): Played: 3, Won: 1, Drawn: 0, Lost: 2, Goals for: 4, Goals against: 8, Goal difference: -4, Pts: 3. Win ratio: 33%.
League Cup: 1
Home: 1 (Northampton).
Home: 1 (100%)
Away: 0 (0%)
Most goals in a 5-game run: 1 - Northampton (August 2015).
First win and first goal
Newcastle United 4 (Florian Thauvin 3, Siem de Jong 8, Daryl Janmaat 56, Mike Williamson 63) Northampton 1 - (25/08/2015)
Thauvin put in a man of the match performance on his home debut in the League Cup 2nd Round against Northampton. It was an excellent first impression that nothing came of unfortunately. He opened the scoring early on by converting Siem de Jong's cross. Minutes later, Siem de Jong doubled the lead by glancing home Thauvin's cross. In the second half, Thauvin grabbed a further two assists to make it a hat-trick of assists by playing the overlapping Daryl Janmaat through on goal and crossed in for Mike Williamson to score what became his last goal for the club. In the remaining time, Thauvin was substituted to a standing ovation from the St. James' Park crowd thinking that this was only the start of what Thauvin could do in a Newcastle shirt.
Newcastle United 2 (Martin Skrtel own goal 69, Georginio Wijnaldum 90) Liverpool 0 - (06/12/2015)
This was a match that belonged to Georginio Wijnaldum as he scored a goal and played a key part in the other as Newcastle ran out winners against his future club and what was Jurgen Klopp's first visit to St. James' Park. The game registered its first shot on target in the 89th minute as Rob Elliot easily gathered up Dejan Lovren's tame header. However, the deadlock was broken when Wijnaldum's close range shot was deflected in by Martin Skrtel. Just as Liverpool searched for a late equaliser, Moussa Sissoko led a breakaway and played in Wijnaldum to wrap up a crucial three points.
Further landmark matches
Debut: Manchester United 0 - 0 Newcastle United (22/08/2015)
Last match: Arsenal 1 - 0 Newcastle United (02/01/2016)