Hugo Ekitike has finally commented on joining Paris Saint-Germain instead of Newcastle.
The forward looked destined to sign for the Magpies this summer, having turned down a move in January. Things felt different in the summer though, and all signs appeared to point to Ekitike joining Eddie Howe’s side.
Then PSG came in for the Frenchman and the rest is history.
Ekitike now shares a dressing room with Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar. As for Newcastle, they are still looking to sign an alternative to the 20-year-old.
Missing out was a real blow, and now Ekitike has explained why he didn’t move to St James’ Park.
Hugo Ekitike on Newcastle
Ekitike has spoke to Le Parisien, and was asked why he decided to join the Ligue 1 champions after turning down Newcastle in January.
“I had an appointment with Luis [Campos] which meant a lot to me. It was not so long ago. We talked a lot, he is someone I value a lot,” he said.
“I wanted to come to PSG before this exchange, but he convinced me even more.
“I’m not setting aside everything Newcastle did for me to come. If I had to go abroad, I would have gone there. But when PSG wants you and you’re French, you can’t refuse.”
Newcastle never stood a chance
By the sound of it, Newcastle never had a chance of signing Ekitike. He always wanted to join PSG. As soon as there was a whiff of interest from the French title winners, he wasn’t coming to St James’ Park.
However, it is interesting to see that he would have joined had PSG not been keen. If that had been the case, it doesn’t sound like Ekitike would have been there to help the club. Instead, he would have used the Magpies as a stepping stone.
In the end, you can’t massively blame Ekitike for wanting to join PSG. They are the biggest club in France, and he now has the chance to learn from some of the best players on the planet.
From a footballing perspective, it feels like he is taking a risk. Joining PSG is a big jump, while Newcastle might have been more of a natural step. The player and the club could have grown together side by side.
But instead he’s staying in France, and will be playing Champions League football for Christophe Galtier’s side.
Good luck to him. For his sake, hopefully his decision doesn’t backfire.
As for Newcastle, the Toon recruitment team will continue to look elsewhere for someone of similar quality who actually wants to play in black and white.