Sebastien Bassong was brought to the top flight of English football by Newcastle United but later went AWOL to force a move out of the club.

Newcastle fans never did forgive defender Sebastien Bassong for how he left the club. Coming off the back of a campaign where he picked up the club’s Player of the Season gong, the Cameroon defender decided he was too good for Newcastle after they were relegated from the Premier League.

With that in mind, Newcastle reportedly slapped a £15million price tag on him with Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal all interested.

Sebastien Bassong went AWOL to force a move from Newcastle

With Newcastle in disarray with no manager with Alan Shearer not being given the chance to guide Newcastle back into the Premier League and the fans turning on the owner, Mike Ashley, who was really starting to show his true colours by this point, Bassong downed tools to force a move away.

In pre-season, Bassong was fined by the club for not travelling with the squad to a friendly. He would regularly miss training, and would generally do what he could to force a move which he eventually got moving to Tottenham for just £8million.

Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Now, many years later Bassong has shared why he did what he did as well as speaking about his regret for doing it.

Talking on The Beautiful Game podcast, Bassong said: “When I think, when I talk about Newcastle now, they gave me the platform. I’m gutted to have done what I’ve done, to have behaved the way I behaved. I should have known better.

“I was told “don’t go training” by clubs, by agents.

“I’m an emotional person, I love Newcastle, even now they know, I love the Geordies.”

Bassong could have been a hero on Tyneside if he stuck around

Young players being given bad advice is unfortunately nothing new in football and still goes on today – just look at Hugo Ekitike last year, so really he deserves forgiveness for coming out and admitting he was wrong.

Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City - Premier League
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

It’s also hard to blame him from wanting to move given the absolute mess the club was in at the time.

Still, it would have been nice for him to stick around at Newcastle and help us back to the Premier League. He could have become a great at Newcastle if he’d just stuck it out.

Related Topics