Probing Graham Carr’s scouting targets – Gilbert Imbula Wanga (EA Guingamp)

Posted on June 12th, 2013 | 35 Comments |

Gilbert Imbula Wanga.
Imbula: A midfield General of the future?
The first in my mini series on players being followed by Newcastle United’s chief scout Graham Carr is the much fancied 20 year old, Gilbert Imbula from French Ligue 2 side, Guingamp.

Though Imbula is yet another central midfielder, and yet another player from France, he does look like a very talented central midfielder who could well be a top player in the fullness of time, the downside being that Carr isn’t the only scout to realise this, as he has also being watched by Carr’s collegues from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and probably several others too.

Before I proceed further, I must issue a warning that I usually like to watch players in several full matches before I write about them. However, when it comes to the lower leagues overseas, obviously this is much more difficult. Hence, I must admit that I have not seen much more of this player than the videos you can see below, so please bear this in mind!

Imbula is a fairly big unit at around 6’1″, and seems to be primarily a very strong and powerful defensive midfielder. However, he also has very good pace, is comfortable on the ball with excellent technique and the abilty to go forward. From what I have seen, his passing is ok and his finishing could perhaps do with a little work. All combined, I think he could develop as an excellent box to box player who could really dominate the midfield. I wrote “could develop” as his goalscoring record would be rather poor so far for someone who might be considered a box to box player, though as I wrote, whilst his finishing is ok, it could perhaps do with a little more work. In his 91 appearences for Guingamp he has only scored 4 goals so far, one of which you can see below. You can also see with another rather scrappy one scored for the France U20s, for whom he has made 4 appearences.

From the (very) little I’ve watched so far, I can at least see a bit of what all the fuss is about regarding this player due to his all round ability. Although he’s estimated as only being worth around £2.6 million on transfermarkt, this sounds very low to me on this occaision. Even as a relitive youngster from Ligue 2, I could see him going for more than three times that amount and still be a very good buy if he fulfills his undoubted potential.

But what do you think?


Gilbert Imbula for France U20 v USA U20 – Toulon Tournament, 28th May, 2013.

Gilbert Imbula for France U20 vs Colombia U20 – Toulon Tournament, 3rd June, 2013.

Gilbert Imbula for Guingcamp vs Marseilles. Can you spot Joey Barton?

Gilbert Imbula scoring against Le Havre, 11th January, 2013.


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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35 Responses

  1. We already have too many Wangas at the club – manager, coaching team, board level and owner.

  2. <<<<<<<, cant see this happening meself we all ready over loaded with midfielders thing we would need to sell 1 or 2 before we bought another 1

  3. Aye Toon, we have alot of midfielders and all they can ever do is stand there watching the ball flying over their heeds like a friggin’ comet! :-)

  4. Bent on the back of your shirt and Wonga on the front….the stuff of wet dreams :lol:
    Expect another atrocious season ahead.

  5. @sirjasontoon
    Bent wont be coming here im fairly certain on that

    @ workyticket
    lmao wont happen next season if we get douglas

  6. Personally, I think Ashley should sign Bent, Wanga, Fuchs and Fanni in this transfer window. It would make all the commentators sound like they have Tourette’s syndrome.

  7. I get that he’s a more imposing physical player and has high-end scouts on the trail but after Amalfitano, I’m very dubious as to the ability of someone with pedestrian statistics in the French second division to make an impact here.

  8. Why would we need another DM, when we have Tiote, Bigiriman, Sissokho and Cabaye.
    Now if I were looking for a real defensive box to box type, who can also score, I would go for Celtic’s Wanayama, who can do it all.
    Though I believe he is looking at a top four side.
    Not a bad buy for the Scottish side, less than a million quid.

  9. I imagine we will be associated with any number of players from now on, where this obscure guy came from I have no idea.
    Does he have a brother, because I have the feeling we may have signed the wrong Amalfitano.

  10. Chuck says:
    June 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    “I imagine we will be associated with any number of players from now on, where this obscure guy came from I have no idea.”

    My darling Chuck, you should know by now that you divven’t get the usual bollocks on this site (except from you, that is).

    I do a hell of alot of research, and I know for certain that Carr has actually been scouting this player though I will not reveal my sources. :-)

  11. I think the only reason we’ll be looking at him, Is there could be a potential helicopter ride for Cabaye or Tiote.
    I must admit i have never heard of this kid before!

  12. I do rate our scouting system better than it once was, but am dumfounded that we have to look so far away from UK for the talent we desire !
    Secondly Citeh spending 46 mill whilst we watch the exit door for our best players queuing up to pasture new rankles me !
    As Fraser said in Dad’s Army ‘ Aye we’re dooomed !’

    Nuff said , HWTL !

  13. Gotto start hearing them great stories like …oh just heard from a mate of me cousin that Robin Van Persie just been seen shopping in Tescos at Westerhope with his french mrs, who was crumpet, got a box of cornflakes with a 50 quid note ..blah, blah… ! yeah honest …etc …etc …!!

  14. nzedtoonman says:
    June 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    “I do rate our scouting system better than it once was, but am dumfounded that we have to look so far away from UK for the talent we desire !”

    nzed, I suppose it’s the same reason Ashley goes to places like Vietnam, Laos and Bangladesh for his Lonsdale T-Shirts instead of Luton. Having written that, I wouldn’t compare Yohan Cabaye with a sweatshop worker in Luang Prabang.

  15. <<<<<<<<<<<<<, will be geting me blunt axe out the shed if they think they ganna replace tiote or caybeye with that kid.Fatboy better learn from last season mistake of leting experinced players go and bring in kids expecting them to do a job.

  16. The lad does look like he has good ball control, but in the French L2!!! I doubt he would make the grade, tbh, not as a DM, but he is such an impressive unit I wonder if he could be developed into a CB, with an attacking side?! That would give us something we don’t now have. (Though I doubt we have the capacity to do much ‘development’ of anyone – NUFC’s needs run across the club, not just at player level).

  17. @ peter ya right bud he is a big unit 35 foot high according to this
    Gianelli Imbula Personal information
    Full name Gilbert Imbula Wanga
    Date of birth 12 September 1992 (age 20)
    Place of birth Vilvoorde, Belgium[1]
    Height 10.86 m (35 ft 8 in)
    Playing position Midfielder

  18. It seems everyone agrees that Carr is something special when it comes to scouting.
    Fact is none of the players we signed (apart from Amalfitano) was an unknown, even young Bigirimana was being watched by some big PL sides.
    As far as Yiote is concerned, sure he looked decent, constantly putting the opposition into the stands, but his flaws soon became apparent and I doubt we could get much more for him , than we paid.
    In a way I can see why we brought in Obertan, as he flatters to deceive, having pace ,technical skills etc.
    Unfortunately doesn’t know what to do with them.
    If Cabaye insists on leaving, Wanyama would make a more than good replacement, with a bit of profit included.
    My point is Carr is not the great scout he is getting credit for, in fact I would trade him for the Celtic scouts who constantly find value for money.
    But being a Geordie, gets more credit than deserved.

  19. Chuck says:
    June 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

    “It seems everyone agrees that Carr is something special when it comes to scouting.”

    He’s a good scout scout and we’re lucky to have him but he’s not the Messiah. To say he’s a little geographically limited would be a bit of an understatement too. As I’ve mentioned before, his scouting missions seem to centre on clubs situated around the route of the Eurostar train, which goes to France, Belgium and the Netherlands, with Germany close by too. Where’s this massive network the club have been bragging about?

    With me it’s Hughton. He brought Carr in and he’s doing the same thing at Norwich with Ewan Chester. Hughton took him back to Norwich from Birmingham because he’s another scout known for his European knowledge. They’re bringing in players like Tettey from Rennes in France, van Wolfswinkel from Sporting in Portugal, Garrido on loan from Lazio, and now Toivonen from PSV in the Netherlands allegedly. They’re not overdoing it though, they’re balancing it out with players like Bassong and Snodgrass, who have also been excellent signings.

  20. Chuck says:
    June 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

    “In a way I can see why we brought in Obertan, as he flatters to deceive, having pace ,technical skills etc.
    Unfortunately doesn’t know what to do with them.”

    He was Pardew’s choice, Chuck, he was bragging about it in an interview.

  21. Oh! I’m not knocking Carr, I believe he’s the best of the back room and hopefully has Ashley’s ear, because I’m not particularly impressed by the rest.
    But with our lacking a knowledgeable director of football operations, how would Ashley possibly be aware of that.
    But he seems bound and determined to learn the job himself, either not willing to pay for possibly the most important part of the whole business, or believing he knows how to run a football club with only a couple of underpaid clowns in roles that need filling.

    An interesting episode is taking place at present..
    As we are all aware the recent WONGA situation is somewhat controversial, being the logo will be displayed by a team that exists in what is a former heavy industrial area, who,s smokestack industries are long gone and is struggling to re-invent it’s self.
    In fact an area of high unemployment, with many struggling to make ends meet.
    And for them to pay over the top money to advertise the very loansharking operation they may be forced to use as a bridge between checks is IMO a slap in the face.
    Look I’m not claiming everyone is in that situation, but some are.
    And now to have the most unlikely opponent to WONGA a Muslim player, (usury is contrary to Ilamic beliefs) voicing his concerns, plus his being backed by the players association, certainly makes for an interesting scenario.
    Of course most I believe would expect Ashley to give him the choice of deal with it or go.
    But it also raises another issue, I unaware if in fact we have more Muslims in the side (HBA ?)
    Who may also object and could this be a reason for Mulim players to perhaps boycott the club.
    If I were Ashley I would consider the situation, hell, we could always go back to Virgin, no!
    But it could in fact have further reaching effects on not only NUFC and the EPL, but throughout the entire football world.

  22. Worky’s

    I would suggest most fans don’t really give a damn, probably more concerned about how the shirt looks than what it represents.
    And yes congratulations to those Bolton fans who rejected another loan – shark operation.
    The point is if in fact Ashley refuses to budge on the subject, the remedy is in tha hands of the fans, simply boycott the WONGA shirt and buy a replica from another era.
    Believe it the message will be received and addressed.
    It’s in the hands of the fans, they just don’t realise it.

  23. It looks like the P.F.A are going to back Cisse over the W***A.COM situation.
    We got rid of the Kray’s from Newcastle, So lets drive out Ashley and his scum friends also!

  24. Hey this is your club, Ahley is here temporarily.
    And yes most think that their voice will not be heard, but there are actions the fans can take which will focus the minds of most owners.
    They just have to show they are united in their opposition and be willing to use the boycott .
    Look at something as minor as the recent attempt at changing the Everton bage, without the agreement of the fans, St James’ Park is the official name once more plus I believe the painting over of those obscene Sports Direct logos has taken place.
    The Bolton fans have voiced a united objection to a similar organisation to WONGA and the club has agreed not to display the quick-quid logo.
    Yes you have the power, but owners believe you are unaware and will never use it.
    Believe it there was a response to the bed sheet s and chanting at St. James’ Park in the early stages of the Ashley regime.
    But having accepted the Sports Direct stuff, it appears the majority have are now willing to settle for anything, that’s a shame.

  25. What I don’t understand though is that Wonga are paying LESS for the shirt sponsorship AND the supposed stadium renaming back to SJP than Virgin were paying just for the shirts. Virgin paid £20 million for two years until the contract was guillotined half way though to bring in Wonga for £6-8 million per season. Also, Branson was complaining that he was never given the chance to make an offer to continue the sponsorship.

    We’re being scammed about this Wonga deal in some way. There’s something that just isn’t right about it.

  26. Worky’s

    Absolutely according to the figures you give that’s obvious, there,s more to this deal than meets the eye

  27. Nzedtoonman @13#

    You say our scouting system is better than it was, but we lack UK players.
    Well obviously we can find better talent for less money from outside the UK, otherwise why do we have so many foreign players.
    As far as them coming from further away, I seem to recall we had player from Greece, Chile, Mauritius and the Balkans.
    Which is further than our recent recruits, who are from a quick flight across the channel.

  28. Well Chuck, the Virgin deal was supposedly £20 million for two years just for the shirts, and the Wonga deal was quoted at £24 million for twice as long, four years.

    Then however, they were saying that the club was getting £8 million per season, which would make it £32 million over four years, still less than the Virgin deal, though Llambias boasted that the Wonga deal was the greatest sponsorship deal in the club’s history.

  29. In order to get some decent bread as an advertiser, first you have too win something, take Chelsea, nothing spectacular prior to ‘s Abramovitch’s money and apart from winning the European cup a few years back, Liverpool had done little to boast about following their demise to Man U. Having been the dominant English club during the seventies.
    Though they have less earnings from attendance, they still have a large w/wide fan base and therefor more shirt sales.
    It’s about winning and expanding the brand name and one would think someone like Ashley would understand that, but apparently not.
    It’s like the US answer of spending your way out of a depressed economic situation and Germany’s , which is austerity, (Angela just doesn’t get it, not every country ii like Gemany)
    Any way what I’m saying is Ashley as far as NUFC is concerned, is firmly on the austerity side.
    And you will see that reflected during this present window, hopefully not a repeat of last summer, where he really screwed up.
    Yes folk it still remains a slow learning curve, whereas if he were to hire the right people to replace the two clowns, we could move forward
    It’s not a lot of fun fighting off relegation every year and if he continues on this course, that’s what we are in for.
    Apparently our best midfielder has had enough and wants to move to a club with more ambition and who can blame him, sure we here all is good all is clar in the dressing room, but I for one hae ma doors.

  30. Chuck @ 34:

    “It’s like the US answer of spending your way out of a depressed economic situation”

    Come again? I wish. Note the public programs being cut, the faux deficit mania in DC, the actual disastrous rate of unemployment and all those collapsing bridges. We’re getting austerity here too. According to our neoliberal/conservative masters, it’s on the menu for us peons everywhere…