Angers manager Gerald Baticle has spoken of his surprise at Angelo Fulgini still being his player, following summer transfer links to Newcastle United.
The attacking midfielder was linked with the Magpies a few weeks before the window closed.
The Daily Mail reported that the 24-year-old was a player Newcastle liked.
Apparently, the club were fighting Crystal Palace for his services.
But Fulgini ended up staying put, and will most likely be key for the Ligue 1 side as they seek to build on last season’s 13th-placed finish.
It has been a fantastic start for Angers this term.
They currently sit second behind Paris Saint-Germain, with Fulgini starting every game so far. He has provided one assist up to now.
Baticle will undoubtedly be counting on Fulgini’s form if Angers are to enjoy a great season, and he’s certainly shocked he can still count on him.
The 51-year-old said (via L’Equipe): “Angelo (staying), for me, it’s a surprise.
“He had an exit certificate and, given the quality of the player, I thought he was going to find a great club. So it’s a good surprise because having a player of this quality in a group is interesting. It is very good for us”
Newcastle signed Joe Willock this summer.
But in many people’s eyes, the Magpies needed another midfielder.
Matty Longstaff has joined Aberdeen on loan, and the injury records of Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey are a concern.
A missed opportunity?
It seems there was little if any push from Newcastle to sign Fulgini.
It sounds likes Baticle expected to lose Fulgini, and it’s a real boost to him to have kept the Frenchman.
The apparent lack of effort from Newcastle to land him is frustrating because Fulgini is actually versatile enough to play right up top.
He’s played up top twice so far this term.
So he could have provided some cover there, with Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin both somewhat fragile.