Probing Le Mans’ Anthony Koura – Toon’s double scoring trialist

Posted on July 20th, 2012 | 24 Comments |

Anthony Koura.
Koura: A bonny lad who certainly knows where the goal is!
In the last game for Newcastle United’s Reserves clash against a Hamilton Academical 11, it was a young French trialist (named only as “Trialist” on the team sheet) who undoubtedly stole the show.

He scored two goals, narrowly missing out on a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory for the second string Mags.

Newcastle United’s club reporter, Dan King, wrote of the mystery Frenchman:

“Two well-taken goals from a French trialist helped Newcastle Reserves start their pre-season campaign with a win against an experienced Hamilton outfit at the Magpies’ Benton training ground.

“The teenage winger, who has played for his country at youth level, scored twice in the first-half and Marcus Maddison added a third from the penalty spot before Alister Crawford netted a late consolation for the Scottish First Division side, who beat Sunderland’s second-string 3-1 earlier this week and included a host of senior players.

“United were ahead after six minutes when Yven Moyo’s great run and clever through-ball allowed the trialist to showcase his pace and finishing ability as he slotted home from the left-hand angle of the box.

“And the same player – who has been training with Newcastle in recent days – scored from an almost identical position on 24 minutes as he burst down the flank and found the bottom far corner with a drilled shot.

“After Maddison saw a shot well saved after good work from Bradden Inman, the trialist was only denied a hat-trick on 36 minutes when, after another exhibition of his lightning pace, his effort was palmed away…”

That player was 19 year old Anthony Koura, who currently plays for French Ligue 2 side, Le Mans FC. So, I thought I would take a closer look.

Koura is, as mentioned in the above report, a winger who can play on both flanks, and is also a striker too. Born in Le Mans, he’s around 5’11” tall and seemingly displays an excellent turn of pace, which appropriate bearing in mind he comes from the French home of relentless speed! He started playing with the local Cheminots du Mans (Railway Club) way back in 2000, when he must have been only around seven, eventually moving to Le Mans in 2004 as an eleven year old.

He only really broke through into the French side’s first team last season, making a total of only nine appearences, and all but two of those as a late substitute. However, it has been on the international scene where the youngster has really been making his impact so far, playing in all the youth levels he has been eligible for, ie in the French Under 16, Under 17, Under 18 and Under 19 International sides. He has obviously impressed the powers that be in French football, having made a total of 44 youth international appearences so far, scoring 19 goals.

Should Newcastle United take him on, and he certainly left an excellent impression in his reserves game with ressie’s coach, Willie Donachie, declaring that he “would take him if the price was right.” Whilst the youngster still has a couple of years left on his Le Mans contract, he should still be as cheap as chips in football terms, his current transfermarkt valuation is only £175,000. Obviously, I’m no great expert on the player, but I’ll certainly keep an eye out for him in the future even if he doesn’t end up being signed up on Tyneside.

Finally, it should also be remebered that trialists from French Ligue 2 clubs are not necessarily to be sniffed at in amongst all the more “glamourous” signings of more senior players. In 2008 club signed another young French player from a Ligue 2 club (FC Metz) after a trial once for £500,000 and ended up selling him to Tottenham for no less than £8 million the season after. Of course, his name was Sebastien Bassong.

Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t exactly chocka with videos of the young starlet yet, but here’s one I managed to trawl up of a Le Mans game against Le Havre in Ligue 2. It features a rare start for Koura, playing on the left flank of a front three.

Allez le Garçon!


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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24 Responses

  1. this might sound crazy, but could Xisco be any kind of option next season???

    If not, is he being loaned/sold/shot?

  2. re Xisco.

    I imagine there is too much ‘bad blood’ and ‘ill feeling’ from both Club and Player to wipe slate clean.

    Side note:

    this is the problem with long contracts with very good wages for ‘untested’ players. One of the main reasons we don’t take much risk when we buy from France cheaply. If it doesn’t work out, there isn’t much loss. But if the player prove his worth, then we offer a improved contract. To be honest, the CORRECT to hand out contracts.

  3. Lotta news concerning Carroll, with it appears looking at one particular pole, a majority of fans in favor of him returning.
    OK, but would you pay twice as much for him as Cisse ?
    I think not!
    And would he be willing to reduce his current salary in order to make the deal?
    Again i think not!
    Look we turned down the opportunity to sign a good young free agent winger /striker (Jr. Hoilett) because his wage demands could upset the present salary cap restrictions.
    A player who would have fitted in perfectly, with pace and power, who can also get his goals, perfect to play with Cisse and HBA in a front three.
    Now that we realise Ba and Cisse can only play either as the only striker in a 4-3-3 or to-gether as part of a 4-4-2, even then they dont compliment one-another.
    So what would we do with Carroll, his wages would upset the present system, do we change the whole look of the side in order to compliment his Nat Lofthouse style ?
    Too many negatives involved, let him go to West Ham ,where BSA can use him in his percentage fifties style controlled game, where everyone in the side is six foot plus.
    Hell we could get Sturridge,Moses or Johnson, for less money than the numbers being thrown around for Carroll, all a better fit into the side.
    And to bring Carroll back just because he is a local, is a sentimental choice, not a logical one.
    But then, what the hell do i know ?

  4. Still think Lille will sell Debuchy, perhaps the deal needs sweetening, a coupla more bucks, but we should make sure we sign him.

    As for Douglas, he’s obviously got his agenda, stretching things in case a big London side should decide to put in a bid, comlicating things with his Dutch residency deal, etc..
    Using his twenty different agents to confuse matters and denying he was aware we had a bid in for him, hell every dog in the street knew.

    Anita ? apparently has the makings of an excellent midfielder, but we know Ashley aint gonna pay £8m. for him.

    On Sissokho, which Sissokho we talking bout, the midfielder at Le Mans, the defender/ midfielder at Lyon.
    Ed. seems confused, that makes two of us.

    I would put in a bid for the Lyon Sissokho, who can bring the ball forward or play in the midfield, nice to have versatility in a players, a two for the price of one deal.

    I worry about the dealmaking/brinkmanship involved, where we could end up like last year missing out on targets because of time limitations.
    Ah well !

  5. Milner says:
    July 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    “this might sound crazy, but could Xisco be any kind of option next season???”


    A lot of noises in recent weeks regarding transfers, but nothing happening. Certainly not as progressive as last summers deals. We must sign a centre back above anything else. Can’t see Douglas happening, especially for an alleged £3 million. Also seeing that West Ham and maybe Fulham are interested means we won’t enter a bidding war and would likely miss out. Dunno what’s happening with Cabaye’s mate but that’s dragging on and on…

  6. Chuck, I doubt we’re even after Carroll. Doesn’t make sense. Pardew said Ashley needed convincing Cisse was worth £8 million FFS! He ain’t going to pay £15 / £16 million for Carroll.

    Maybe Mike thinks it’s a nice thing to try bring back Carroll for the fans like he did with Keegan… Though it isn’t the same at all as Keegan is a legend, Carroll isn’t.

    Probably just smokescreens… We can get a much better striker cheaper than what Carroll would cost, and ideally we want a striker who can compliment Cisse and Ba… Someone who can play on either flank of a front three. But that’s just me pissing in the wind because we all know Pardew will play 4-4-2 direct.

  7. Jimbob says:

    “But that’s just me pissing in the wind because we all know Pardew will play “4-4-2 direct”

    Can see that emblazoned on the new shirt this season :)

  8. clinton forde says:
    July 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

    “Is koura the same guy who scores as in the picture?”

    No Clinton, but he does test the goalkeeper a few times. Le Mans are the ones in red.

  9. Seems like he’s worth a go as a cheap youngster for the future.

    Nice story, cheers

  10. AndyMac says:
    July 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    “The story is that Lille wont let him go until they’ve signed a replacement apparently. Mind you its come from Yahoo Eurosport so WT will say its baloney :)”

    Not baloney at all, just direct quotes from Rudi Garcia instead of all this “suggested” and “It is understood that…” bollocks.

    Thanks Mikeyboy. Sorry about the delay with your photo BTW. It IS in it’s way now.

  11. Aye he looks a canny young’ you Worky i’ll be keeping tabs on him if we sign him or not.looks to have a bright futuer ahead ov him.
    Surely its got to be worth trying to hijack the Moses deal at £10mill.surely his wages will fit in aswell.atleast if he signed for us he will develop quicker than he would at chelski.signing for them halts there development imo.look at Sidwell,Parker,Duff even Sturridge.they were all decent players when they signed for chelski.lack ov games sharp halted there development n must ov affected them mentally.and players come out n say “its not about the money” !! yh right…i would rather go to a club were i was ganna play week in week out rather than be a bit part player.
    So along wiv Moses,we need Debuchy in(when lille stop dragging there feet n find a replacement).also a CB so if thats big Douglas or someone else,we need them signed within a week,2weeks max.can we wait untill the January transfer window for a CM?will Anita still be available then,or has G.Carr got a different target?i personally just want the season to start so i can start cheering the lads on in the Gallowgate..HWTL

  12. jack72 says:
    July 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    “Surely its got to be worth trying to hijack the Moses deal at £10mill.”

    Jack, I knaa I keep banging on about it, but it might stick in Ashley’s craw after he refused to bid over £1.5 million for him a while back, and Wigan got him for £2.5 million.

    “So along wiv Moses,we need Debuchy in(when lille stop dragging there feet n find a replacement).”

    Since Ashley started buggering around kicking his tyres and trying cheeky lowball bids of £4 million, his value has now gone up to £10 million, so Ashley will either have to think again about policy or start again elsewhere.

  13. No worries workyticket! It was a great competition, though I would say that as I won one of the prizes! :)

  14. Mikeyboy says:
    July 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    “Doh! I forgot to ask if you will be having any more competitions soon?”

    Not very sure about anything ATM, Mikeyboy, I’m struggling with the whole blog right now to be honest! There’s our usual twice a season prediction competition when the season starts. That was for a £100 first prize, £50 second prize and £25 first prize for each competition. That was done by my colleague, Hugh, though and I’m not sure what he’ll be up to, if he’ll be back, or I whether I might have a crack at running the thing myself.

    I was also thinking of doing another one more like the last one, this time for a shirt signed by the lads but we’ll see. Sorry I couldn’t be more definite.

  15. Just like to say your doing a test job & really enjoyed this piece Workey – hope we sign the lad, along with Anita & Debuchy. Bringing AC back would surely mean saying bye to Demba… really thought Hoilet was a perfect fit shame as I cannot see another real that good coming round so hope Marveaux will step up. There should be no place for Obertan he cannot keep the ball, shoot, it pick a pass, even his positioning is not upto much – pace doesn’t equal a good player.

  16. Debuchy’s price tag has went up to £10mil you say Worky?were did you hear that?first av heard ov it coz mate.
    The thing is wiv Obertan,imo his feet are to quick for his brain.once he beats a man he’ll not just whip a ball in first time.he’s gotta try twisting n turning,most ov the time theres no need for it.dont rate him at all.its clear why fergie got shot ov him.i often wonder if Pards owed fergie a favor,thats why we ended up wiv him.

  17. jack72 says:
    July 21, 2012 at 12:14 am

    “Debuchy’s price tag has went up to £10mil you say Worky?were did you hear that?first av heard ov it coz mate.”

    Quite a few places Jack. When a player comes to the fore with some good performances in a major championship such as the World Cup or the Euros, of course, it goes without saying that the price on their heads is only going in one direction. Besides that, all this carry on with Ashley putting in 50% bids (like £4 million for Debuchy), all the while trying to unsettle the player into putting in a transfer request is starting to backfire a bit now and riling clubs which Newcastle will inevitably have to deal with in the future. The seemingly endless sagas are putting players in the public eye (and the eye of other clubs too) and keeping them there.

    It may have worked with Cabaye with his secret outdated release clause, it worked with Cisse (just) with a relegation threatened Freiburg, but it doesn’t work as well with top of the League clubs such as Ajax and Lille, not to mention Liverpool.

    Back to Debuchy though, here’s two examples (of many) on the £10 million thing.

    And cheers, SammyJ!

  18. WORKEY
    These guys sound like “Two Wild and Crazy Guys” from the old Saturday Night Live show, are they real people ?
    Or from the Check Republic, or sumfink ?