Young player to have Bigi season?

Looking to the future?

Looking to the future?

There were very few positives that came out of last season, but one of the few bright sparks was the emergence of the young Gael Bigirimana as a player to look out for in the future.

Bigirimana, who signed for a reported 1 million pounds from Coventry last summer, made his league debut in the 1-1 home draw against Aston Villa last season. He then went on to make 13 league appearances with one spectacular goal in the 3-0 home win against Wigan. Gael has proved to be a very capable young player, and has rarely looked out of place in a midfield that, at times, comprised of big names like Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, or Yohan Cabaye.

Given that Sissoko and Anita are stepping up their claims for first team football, as well as players like Cabaye and Tiote to be considered, it would appear that Bigirimana’s first team opportunities will be at a premium and that his development would be better served by going out on loan to a Championship club.  However, Bigirimana has already said that he intends to stay at the club and fight for a place in the first team.

It remains to be seen whether he will succeed in forcing himself into contention, or if he will be allowed to stay and fight it out, as the club may decide that the best option for him is to go on loan.

Whatever decision is made regarding Bigirimana’s future, we hope he can manage to get some first team football under his belt to help him progress even further, as he has proven to be among our brightest prospects out of our current crop of young players.

Personally, I think that with the vast array of options we have in the central midfield position, it would probably serve both the club, as well as Bigirimana, for him to go out on loan, even if it is only on a short term basis. However, he could surprise us all and force himself into Alan Pardew’s plans this season.

What do you think? Is Bigirimana good enough to crack the first team this season? Or is a loan best for all involved? I’d love to hear your thoughts.



  1. If Bigi stays to fight for his place then good for him, that’s what we want, confident kids who have the necessary self belief, however that is also where a wiser head is needed, he is already even at his tender age to good to be something like 7th choice in a maximum 2 man position, defensive midfielders we have them in an abundance, natural ones are Tiote, Anita and Sissoko, but there is also the experience of Cabaye,Jonas and Mbiwa has played there effectively in the past, personally I would put him 4th behind Sissoko, Anita and Tiote, but with so many who can cover them then Bigi should go out on loan, I was actually hoping that either Palace or Cardiff would have seen enough of him last season to take him on loan this season as PL games would bring him on more than Championship games, but never mind, its first team games which are vital.


    1. Can’t see any PL team seeing enough of him to give him the 20+ games he would need to properly develop. It would seem that it’s only in the Championship where he would get that sort of playing time.

      Being in a blood and thunder league like that would surely be a good thing, and let’s not forget that he was a first team regular for Coventry in the Championship when we signed him so he can cut it at that level.

      We’ll wait and see how his development is managed but I will be very disappointed in Pardew if he doesn’t ship him on loan, if only for 3 months.


    1. But Bolton saw enough in Wilshere to take him there, clearly other PL clubs haven’t seen enough in Bigirimana, and to be honest, I’ve not seen enough of him to suggest he can sustain form for an entire PL season. I’d rather he went on loan to a Championship club where he can be the main man for a while and come back buzzing.

      Just look at what that has done to Dummett’s development.


  2. Sorry but your wrong m8, simple as, the reason being that the better the opponent the better you have to play and as a result the quicker you develope, the only possible negative could be the player being out of there depth, and if what you saw of Bigi has given you any doubt that he could not handle the premier league then I suggest you give up on football, he does not need to be pampered, he needs to be pushed, the Championship would not enhance him as he has already done that league with Coventry, he needs to step up a league.

    Granted Dummett may have come on in leaps and bounds, I say may as really have not had a true chance to judge him in the Premier league, but would going back to the Scottish prem really help him now or has he outgrown it, he now needs the English prem as does Bigi, Championship football would be a side way’s step at best


    1. We have a difference of opinion, neither of which can be ‘wrong’

      There is a lot to be said to be playing with confidence, if you throw him in the deep end too quickly he may lose his confidence if he doesn’t hit the ground running, and he would find himself trading our bench with another PL bench.

      Bigi is only 19 years old, he has plenty of time to go on loan to a PL side when he is at that stage of development. Right now I think 20+ Championship games would benefit him more than 10 or so PL games where he might not play well in.

      Bigi may have played a fair few times in the Championship with Coventry, but I certainly wouldn’t say he has outgrown that level. In his performance against Morecambe he looked off the pace completely.


  3. Erm, your good young man, if I’m wrong I’m wrong, if your wrong it’s a difference of opinion, without squabbling if we sent him to a club without assurances to his likely involvement, then that would be a shocker, after us with Rossi from Manure,I believed that that type of situation would not arise again, and as far as I am aware it hasn’t rose again.

    How does playing games against opposition who are way below your standard help you, all you do is get lazy because it is too easy, that is human nature and not a bad attitude, playing against better players gives you a target, something to aim for, an idea of what you have to do to succeed, the Mike Ashley attitude is filtering down to the fans, if they are ok at being second best they are ok for Newcastle United because Newcastle United are second best, Man U and Arsenal send their players to good teams to improve them,we send them to the Scottish Prem and Gateshead, get a grip, we want our lads to be better than that


    1. They shouldn’t go to Gateshead, they should be going to teams that suit their ability, I think the Championship would suit his ability right now. He wouldn’t start for any of the promoted teams as it stands, nor would he start for any other PL team in my opinion.

      He needs games, and while playing against PL opposition would help his development, there is no PL team where he would be guaranteed games.

      Championship opposition is not way below Bigi’s standard, I think you’re over-hyping his ability somewhat.


  4. I’d imagine Bigi and a few others will get a chance in cup games this season and that might give them a chance to force them into contention for a premiership first team (or bench) place. Other than that he’ll keep match fit by playing reserves or is it development squad nowadays.
    Talking about development squad, we seem to have stopped replacing all the players we got rid of recently. I wonder why or can someone tell me who we’ve bought in the last 6-12 months other than Olivier Kemen, Curtis Good and Mbabu?


    1. I’d rather keep the young players at the club who look like they would be better served through having a watchful eye over them – like Streete, and possibly Good.

      The likes of Bigi, who isn’t in line for first team football, should be sent out for at least a few months to get football under his belt. Sammy and Dummy have looked much sharper with a bit of first team football.

      As for replacing Academy players, your guess is as good as mine. Remember we got a commitment to revolutionise our Academy? Perhaps they hoped we would forget about that…


  5. All that money that went into the academy too…. ah well. i agree that a few months away for Bigi might be the best for him. he’ll be back for the cup games, the FA and league cup if we’re still in the LC by Christmas.

    Going back to your Cisse article. I actually like him but he’s been “Pardewed” imho or struggled because of poor team tactics. He’s worked so hard in so many games but the team were not working and left him isolated. This season with the 4-3-3 (or the BBC’s 4-2-3-1) he should be brought into the game alot more hopefully. Did you notice v Villa how we were getting more players attacking their goal when in possession, made a welcome change.


    1. Even with more players getting in the box, and a generally more effective midfield, Cisse was still looking completely useless.

      I’d bench him after 3 games if he isn’t looking much more useful.

      As for Bigi, with a more competitive squad we wouldn’t even be debating this now, he’d have been on a season long loan by now.


  6. Send him abroad. He has already shown he can cut it in the Championship, not quite good enough to challenge for Premier League starting place, but definitely good enough for cover. See if any one in France is interested, could be that we are returning a ‘favour’ to a club we have previously dealt with or are planning on dealing with in the future. Just an idea. Won’t happen though!


  7. personal opinion is he’s had his time out on loan now i.e. coventry so has his experiance at lower lvls so keeping him at the club i would say is the best choice for him !
    last season he was prem class without a doubt but agree this season he’s been off par a bit to the point that gosling imo has overtaken him.

    we have plenty of cup games for him to get dirty in though providing we stay in them for a while.(secretly hoping he’s finally our england international tbh)


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