Hugo Ekitike on Newcastle interest in January: “The timing wasn’t right.”

In an interview published in this Saturday’s L’Équipe, Reims striker Hugo Ekitike notably speaks about the rumours of a potential summer departure as well as the links to Newcastle in winter.

The 19-year-old forward has been one of the sensations of the Ligue 1 season, despite missing two and a half months to injury. 

This year, the Frenchman has 9 goals and 4 assists in 23 Ligue 1 appearances, propelling him to the top of the pecking order at his hometown club.

Lately, you’ve been saying: Here, I feel at home. Are you ready to leave home?

I consider myself to be ready for anything. Whether that’s staying here or taking up a challenge that everyone agrees with.

How do you react to rumours around you?

It makes me smile because it gratifies my hard work. I get the impression that I exist. I know that what I’m doing on the pitch is good, it’s being recognised. And not just by anyone. It pushes me to give the best account of myself. I always want to progress and become the best.

Newcastle wanted you in the winter, why did you stay?

I have a lot of respect for that big club. But it was all happening very quickly, the timing wasn’t right. It was better to stay here, to play a full season, to establish myself.

How do you imagine your summer?

I see it being lively! I think people will show interest in me. On my end, I’ll stay calm because I’m surrounded by the right people to manage all of that.


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