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Transfer Rater: Casillas to Newcastle


Remy to Arsenal? It all adds up

Loic Remy has never said he would stay at Newcastle United beyond his loan agreement, which is due to expire. Whenever asked over the past nine months, he has insisted he hasn't thought about the future too much.

Of late, a couple of inevitable interviews with the French media revealed Remy was ambitious and wanted to play in the Champions League. As it stands, under Newcastle's current policy and outlook on the world around them, neither of his requirements tick boxes at St James' Park.

Once upon a time, United were regarded as a top European club as they battled for league titles and cups and were regulars on the European circuit. They aimed for the Champions League too, and it was classed as a big disappointment when they didn't get there.

But that was over a decade ago.

These days, simply staying in the Premier League is classed as an achievement. Therefore, at 27 and approaching the peak of his powers, Remy doesn't have time on his hands. He is a superb player who scores goals and gives defences a real headache. With better service, he could easily have scored more than 14 goals this season, but he remains a strong contender for Newcastle's player of the season despite missing two months of action.

- Cross: Remy watches Arsenal - Ryder: So long, Shola?

What a shame he's just a borrowed body from Queens Park Rangers and that Newcastle aren't in a position to build a team around him. Remy made it clear at the midway point of the season just how ambitious he was. Just before the transfer window, he made a statement of intent.

Sadly, it fell on deaf ears.

While Alan Pardew was telling the world that the Champions League was unrealistic for the Magpies, Remy was saying Newcastle could qualify with United just three points behind then-fourth Liverpool. What was needed was ambition and the ability to add to the squad. Fans chanted "Don't sell Cabaye" but United didn't listen and he wasn't replaced either, meaning that Remy and co were left to pick up the pieces. Newcastle never really recovered from Cabaye's departure, and Remy cut a bemused figure after he left.

His head-butt and subsequent red card at Norwich meant that 2014 didn't start well. The Magpies were then dealt a major blow when a calf injury picked up on international duty ruled Remy out for two months.

However, he was back on the goal trail with a strike against Cardiff City at the weekend in a 3-0 win over the relegated Welsh side. Afterwards, as part of the postgame lap of appreciation, Remy waved goodbye to all four sides of the ground. There seemed to be a finality about it, and when he threw his tracksuit top in the crowd and picked up a black-and-white scarf, many fans knew his number was up.

If seeing him in the stands for Arsenal's game with West Brom on Sunday wasn't evidence he's interested in a move elsewhere then nothing will be.

Arsene Wenger joked there was nothing in it, but secretly he has been a fan of Remy for years -- he fits into the Thierry Henry mould they've struggled to fill. Henry has expressed his admiration for his countryman, and Remy says Henry is his hero.

It all adds up. What more is there to say from a Newcastle point of view apart from "It was good while it lasted."?