To say that leaving Newcastle after just six months was a relief for Florian Thauvin would be an understatement.
Returning to Marseille on loan the January after he left them for £14m, the French winger found a new lease of life, quickly developing into a great forward, one who was part of his country’s World Cup winning squad in Russia.
Finishing last season with 22 goals and 12 assists in 35 league appearances, the 25-year-old has started this campaign in similar fashion, finding the back of the net seven times in 11 games, as well setting up three others for his teammates.
Sitting down with Onze Mondial, Thauvin revealed one of the main reasons why he ended up going to St James’ Park, as well as Marseille needing the money, was because he was badly surrounded.
He said: “I made some bad decisions. I can tell you today, I have a good entourage and it’s a lot easier for me to feel good. It’s all a lot simpler. I made the wrong choices in the past, no one was there to help me at that time, and that’s why I got it wrong.”
Struggling from the off under Steve McClaren, Thauvin admits part of it was his fault, giving up so soon, even though he feels he wasn’t given enough time to show what he could really do.
He explained: “Maybe if I’d stayed longer, I could have won a spot in the team, but I wasn’t thinking about that. I told myself I wasn’t playing and I wanted to leave, to go back to Marseille.”
Asked to expand on that feeling, he continued: “Over there, I thought my career was f*cked. I came home in the evening and told my girlfriend that this was it, it was over. I wasn’t playing at Newcastle. I ended up at this club lost, no one talked to me. My phone never rang. I had my family and my girlfriend.
“That’s when I decided to grab the bull by the horns and said ‘I’m going back to Marseille and I’ll make a name for myself’. And that’s what happened”.