Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Winger Pledges United Future; EXCLUSIVE New Contract for N'Zogbia

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Winger Pledges United Future; EXCLUSIVE New Contract for N'Zogbia

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

SAM Allardyce has praised Charles N'Zogbia for his stunning transformation this season after admitting the Frenchman had become disillusioned at St James's Park.

N'Zogbia's scintillating start to the new campaign was rewarded with a new five-year contract yesterday just months after the youngster had indicated he was ready to leave the club.

The 21-year-old, who was also called up for the France Under-21 squad this week, lost his way under former manager Glenn Roeder and there were fears the vast potential he had shown in his early days in English football would go to waste.

But Allardyce, who has successfully turned N'Zogbia into an attacking left-back, is thrilled with the manner in which the former Le Havre prospect has responded to the new regime's ideas. "He has impressed me with his performances and his ability, as well as his versatility to play in a variety of positions," said Allardyce, who has taken a few days off on holiday to recharge his batteries after a draining first three months as United manager.

"The new contract is thoroughly deserved and hopefully he will have a long and successful career at Newcastle United.

"There were a few issues which will remain private and confidential last season, but all we wanted to do was get Charlie concentrating on and enjoying his football again. He was a bit unsettled when I arrived, but I've been very impressed with his performances on the pitch and his attitude. He has worked very hard, as well as being one of biggest pluses in the first few games of the season.

"He didn't figure much last season and he also picked up an injury. He was frustrated and maybe he was a bit disillusioned at the club, but with a new regime he has blossomed really. He is a young man with a lot of talent and we hope he will be a big player for us this season and in the future. …

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