Newcastle United make £750,000 bid for next Cheik Tioté

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Gael Bigirimana celebrates a derby win for Coventry City

#### Bigirimana - Looks a bit like wor Tioté and plays a similar role

There are quite strong reports bouncing around that Alan Pardew is very close to his second signing of the summer transfer window in the shape of Coventry City youngster Gael Bigirimana. The Sky Blues man is a midfielder, which - any time I’ve seen him play at least - drops quite deep and hassles opposition a bit like Tioté. Not only does he look like the Ivorian, it seems like he might be a similar player in the type of game he likes to play. However, some Coventry City fans have mentioned that he’s not bad going forward either, with some touting him as the next Essien!

Their manager, is hoping that the midfielder doesn’t make a move away from the Ricoh Arena:

‘Gael’s a good talent but he’s still got a heck of a lot to learn and I’d be really disappointed if he left.’

‘He’s in there and very much part of my plans and I’d love to see him continue his development with us. I think it’s really important at his age that he’s playing competitive football. I’d love him to be part of it.’

I don’t think Bigirimana - who happens to be part of the Congolese U-18 setup - would think twice about leaving Coventry to join Newcastle United, and learn from the likes of Tioté & it is definitely worth noting that Coventry City were relegated to League 1 this season after an abysmal season.

The fee is rumoured to be in the region of £1m, but we’ve it on quite decent account, that it is closer to the £750,000 mark - which to a Premier League team is pennies, but decent bucks for a team playing their football in the third division of England.

Burnley were expected to make a move for him in March, but nothing materialized and it looks like Graham Carr and Pardew are ready to pounce for the 18 year-old.

Again, we’ve been linked with good young talent, and if this fella arrives, then it’s hard not to be excited about his potential.

Of course all the pessimists will say we’re looking for Bigirimana because Cheik Tioté could be lining up a move away from St.James’ Park but even if he was - I’d much rather have a replacement for him than not.

We’ve got to be thinking ahead in this window because we’re losing players this summer, and that’s even before we begin to discuss some of our star men.

If there’s any other Coventry City fans out there, do not be afraid to give us your thoughts on Gael in the comments area below!

Comments welcome as always 🙂

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Toin fin: ⏱ 31/05/2012

He must.b good if pardew and carr are ready to pound each other to get him :)

Doocey: ⏱ 31/05/2012

Exactly my thoughts :D

AD: ⏱ 31/05/2012

It's difficult to say how talented Gael is right now. Technically he should only have just graduated from the academy and was pressed into service early due to Coventry's financial problems. He's spent this season learning his trade and just doing the basics, laying the ball off to a teammate without having a major impact on games, so where the Essien comparisons are coming from I don't know. Perhaps as he gets more and more comfortable with first team football he'll come out of his shell a bit and have a bit more of an impact, possibly even becoming quite a decent playmaker but at the moment most of what he does is sideways. However he does look composed and wasn't fazed by the first team experience and seems very eager to learn and thankful for the chance he's got, possibly due to his early African upbringing. Physically he's quite small, both in terms of height and build, so I wouldn't say he's similar to Tiote either. He'll get stuck in but he's often out-muscled. Maybe as he gets older he'll bulk up a bit and that will change but I can't really see it. Just after Xmas he really started to look jaded too and desperately needed a rest.He's got potential but he's nowhere near ready for the top flight.

Mattskyblue: ⏱ 31/05/2012

He is a good talent but was not even in our first eleven when getting relegated, if you buy him I would expect two seasons of him being loaned out to championship clubs before he is ready for your bench

Rick: ⏱ 31/05/2012

He's a great character and personality, but all too often games pass him by (understandably for one so young).  He's a great individual within the community too, lots of charitable work and such, so it'd be great to see him do well, but I agree that he's not Prem, certainly upper Prem quality or maybe potential.  He has a great touch, but I can't think of another attribute that I'd rave about.  At various points this season Sammy Clingan, Gary Deegan, Connor Thomas, Olly Norwood & Gary Gardiner kept him out of an eventually relegated side.  He's a prospect, and if he learns fast he could get there, but it's not obviously apparent at the moment.  He's no Leon Best...

Doocey: ⏱ 31/05/2012

Thanks for that - certainly get a better picture of what kind of player we might be buying into. It's without an investment in potential, would require a few years before first team action.

Doocey: ⏱ 31/05/2012

He's only 18 at the same time though - could be a regular Premier League starter by 21 if he gets the correct coaching. Would have no problem buying him, coaching him, and loaning him back out to Coventry City who'll hopefully be a Championship side again next year. :)

Doocey: ⏱ 31/05/2012

If he does reject a move, to continue playing at Coventry then I think it's fair to say almost all NUFC fans would respect that decision - it's not often that kind of thing happens. Either way, judging from Sky Blues fans on here (and thanks for taking the time to comment) - it seems like he has the makings of a very effective footballer. Needs good coaching and playing time - NUFC could only provide one of those this season at least, whereas Coventry might be able to offer both. Only time will tell!

Robert Latchford: ⏱ 31/05/2012

Would just like to commend Newcastle and Alan Pardew in particular for a fantastic effort last season. I always enjoy getting up to Newcastle when in the UK and think you have some of the most passionate fans in the country. Will be interesting to see if you can consolidate in the summer with more astute purchases.

Doocey: ⏱ 31/05/2012

Thanks mate, here's hoping you lot will make a trip to St.James' in the near future.

@Richjohnson92: ⏱ 31/05/2012

got a relative who is a big Coventry city fan. this was the tweet he sent to me ... @richjohnson92 hands off Gael Bigirimana. If we want to get out of @npower_League1 we need players like him. ... valid this only state he is a league 1 player but this Coventry fan certainly doesn't want him to leave and with him being 18 and so highly rated, I say act quickly Pardew!

Tomwardhome: ⏱ 01/06/2012

class player!

Darthdisturbing: ⏱ 01/06/2012

"Bigirimana – who happens to be part of the Congolese U-18 setup" No, no he isn't. He's from Burundi.

Craigballard80: ⏱ 01/06/2012

Im a Coventry City fan and having watched Gael this season if The Magpies get him for 750k its a steal. He's still a bit raw but thats mainly due to his young age and being thrown in at the deep end with Coventry. I would be very sad to see him leave.