Paul-Georges Ntep was on the scoresheet last night for Auxerre. Interestingly it was his first game in front of a home crowd since he declared he was leaving a month ago.
The Frenchman is certainly an Arsene Wenger type player. Young, quick, technical and … well, French - he is right up Wenger’s street.
Arsenal need striker coverage more than ever now Theo Walcott is out for the season - while Ntep can also fill in out wide.
Yeah, it is fair to say there is credence to these rumours on a purely circumstantial basis.
But then the two have also been courting each-other. Ntep stated:
“Arsenal is a club that appeals to any player. This is a club that relies on young people. After that it’s always the same question – it depends on the project. Arsenal, yes, but to do what? If this is a club that I am going to sit on the bench, then where is the progression? I’m not saying I want to go to a big club to start immediately but at least that can happen in the medium term.”
Then Wenger said, while speaking as a studio guest on French programme Telefoot:
“Paul Georges Ntep has the potential to have a great future. Whether he will or not all depends on his mind."
So the two are clearly aware of each other - and then there was Ntep’s cryptic message after bagging a goal against Niort on the 13th December.
It was Auxerre’s last game at their Stade de l’Abbe Deschamps of 2013 - with the next game at home not coming until the 10thJanuary - and after celebrating his goal he posted a picture on Instagram - and he left the message accompanying it as…
“Last match at the Abbe Dechamps.”
Seemingly a goodbye to fans after what he felt would be his final game for Auxerre at home.
But it wasn’t, clearly, because last night he scored in a 1-1 draw with Arles-Avignon - in his first home appearance since leaving that message of goodbye to his fans.
The €8 million target for Arsenal - and several Ligue 1sides plays his next home game v Dijon on the 21st of this month.
Time will tell if he is still an Auxerre player at that point in time.