Newcastle would be wise to sign this intelligent 24-year-old Ligue 1 star instead of Rondon and here’s why

Newcastle United opinion: Should Newcastle sign Gaetan Laborde?

After brilliant recent performances from on-loan 29-year old Venezuelan Salomon Rondon, Chronicle Live suggests that Newcastle United are willing to make the move permanent.

Rondon’s physical presence has been instrumental in the Magpies’ rise to 14th place in the league but with the West Brom man turning 30 in September, it wouldn’t be a wise investment.

Newcastle should dive into the market to look for a younger and more productive version of Rondon, who has scored just 7 times this season. Montpellier’s Gaeton Laborde would be an incredible fit for Rafa Benitez’s style of football.

Having come up the ranks at Bourdeaux, Laborde was sent out on loan to Ligue 2 sides Red Star, Stade Brest and Clermont Foot. After impressive performances in the lower divisions, the 24-year old became a first-team member of Bordeaux in 2015.

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After just one substitute appearance in his first season, Laborde became a regular at the club since the start of the 2016/17 campaign. The Frenchman scored 6 goals in 21 starts for the club but impressed with his performances.

He struggled with injuries in the following season before making a move to Montpellier at the start of this season. Laborde, however, is having the best season of his career with Montpellier.

After a quiet first 4 games for the club, Laborde went on a scoring spree with 6 goals in his next 7 games including a brilliant brace against Marseille in a 3-0 win. The 24 year old has scored 10 goals so far this season in the Ligue 1 but his all-round performances have been noteworthy.

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Laborde is a strong, quick and agile forward who thrives with the ball at his feet as he takes on his markers with quick feet and brilliant use of space. Despite being just 6ft tall, Laborde’s aerial ability is outstanding and shows incredible strength when holding up the ball.

If he was to be compared, Laborde is very similar to former Montpellier and Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud but unlike the Chelsea man, Laborde possesses good pace and the ability to take people on with his dribbling.

Laborde is very strong on the ball with the back facing the goal and is capable of a quick turn and a powerful shot at goal with little back lift. His left foot is a gem and is capable of scoring from distance.

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Laborde averages 2.3 shots at goal and 1.3 key passes per 90 minutes so far this season. Despite being just 6ft tall, Laborde averages 3.2 successful aerial duels this season and is a nightmare for the defenders to contain during set-pieces.

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Newcastle would be making a brilliant investment if they were to sign Gaetan Laborde and it would be a smart investment. Still only 24, Laborde will thrive under Rafa Benitez and under the Spaniard’s guidance will improve his game and take it to the next level.


Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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