Obertan with Newcastle United in 2012
|Full name||Gabriel Antoine Obertan|
|Date of birth||26 February 1989|
|Place of birth||Pantin, France|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2009||→ Lorient (loan)||15||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:13, 28 February 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Gabriel Antoine Obertan (born 26 February 1989) is a French footballer who plays for English club Newcastle United. He plays primarily as a winger, but can also play attacking midfield and as a striker.
A former attendee of the famous Clairefontaine academy, Obertan began his professional career playing for Bordeaux in France. He then joined Manchester United in July 2009 for an undisclosed fee, before signing for Newcastle United for another undisclosed fee in August 2011.
Obertan was born in Pantin, France and began his career playing for his local club Paris-Pantin before moving to a higher level joining Paris FC in 2002. After spending a year there, he did what most youths at Paris FC often do and joined Paris-Saint Germain. Following another year of training, he moved to the famed Clairefontaine academy in order to further his development. It was here where he was first spotted by Bordeaux scouts and after one year at Clairefontaine, he moved to Bordeaux to begin training with them.
After spending only a year in the reserves, in the 2006–07 season Obertan signed his first professional contract where he was given the number 26 shirt for the senior squad, signing a three-year contract. On 30 September 2006, at the age of 17 he made his professional debut, playing the last 15 minutes of a 2–0 defeat to Valenciennes. He scored his first goal on 22 April 2007 against Saint-Étienne in a 2–0 away league victory, netting during injury time to seal the win. He made 17 league appearances and a total of 23 matches scoring one goal during his debut season.
The following season, he signed a contract extension and his playing time increased to 37 matches and three goals, though he was still limited to mostly substitute appearances. For the first half of the 2008–09 season, his play was limited again, though he impressed as he scored a brace in Bordeaux's 4–2 win over Guingamp in the Coupe de la Ligue on 11 November 2008. With Bordeaux contending for a title and Obertan not likely to receive playing time, Blanc decided to loan him out to fellow Ligue 1 side Lorient for the rest of the season, where Blanc believed the player would receive more playing time.
Obertan scored his first goal for Lorient on 24 January 2009, netting the first in a 2–1 home win over Tours in the Coupe de France campaign. Obertan netted his only league goal for Lorient in a 3–1 away win over Grenoble on 4 April. During his loan spell at Lorient, Obertan made a total of 17 appearances scoring two goals.
On 6 July 2009, French newspaper L'Equipe announced that Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud had reached an agreement with English club Manchester United for the transfer of Obertan with Triaud stating that an agreement had been reached several weeks ago and that the player had agreed contract terms. The following day, Obertan successfully passed his medical in Manchester and, on 8 July, signed his contract officially making him a Manchester United player. The transfer fee was undisclosed, but is believed to be in the region of £3 million, with Obertan joining the club on a four-year deal.
Following three games for the Manchester United reserve team, including a 3–0 win over Oldham Athletic on his debut, Obertan made his senior debut in the club's 2–0 away win over Barnsley in the League Cup fourth round on 27 October. He made his Premier League debut for Manchester United on 31 October, coming on as a substitute in the 2–0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford. His Champions League debut came that same week, replacing Federico Macheda in the 82nd minute in the 3–3 home draw against CSKA Moscow on 3 November 2009. On 8 December, Obertan set up the second of Michael Owen's hat-trick in a 3–1 away victory at Wolfsburg in the Champions League, taking on 3 players before teeing Owen up for a simple tap-in. On 15 December, Obertan made his first league start for United, being replaced in the 71st minute by Danny Welbeck in a 3–0 home win over Wolves.
Obertan scored his first goal for United in a 1–0 win over Philadelphia Union on 21 July 2010 on the club's pre-season tour of North America. Just one week later Obertan was forced to miss the start of the new season as he was injured midway through the first half during United's 5–2 victory in the 2010 MLS All-Star Game. On 22 September, Obertan made his return from injury, replacing Javier Hernández in the 68th minute of United's 5–2 away League Cup win over Scunthorpe United. Obertan's first official goal for United came on 2 November, netting the second of a 3–0 away win over Bursaspor in the Champions League, this also being Obertan's first European goal.
Obertan signed for Premier League club Newcastle United on a five-year contract on 9 August 2011, for an undisclosed fee believed to be approximately £3 million. He made his debut on 13 August as a half-time substitute at home to Arsenal. On 26 November 2011, Obertan returned to Old Trafford with Newcastle in a fixture against Manchester United in a 1–1 draw. After failing to make a significant impression in the first half of the season, Obertan lost his place in the starting 11 to fellow Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa. He scored his first goal for Newcastle on 1 February 2012, slotting in a Peter Løvenkrands through ball in the 2–0 victory against Blackburn Rovers after coming on as a sub just four minutes before. Obertan scored his first goal of the 2012–13 season with a low drive against Belgian side Club Brugge in the Europa League on 25 October. Obertan scored his first goal at St James' Park for Newcastle on October 18th 2014 with the winner against Leicester City F.C.
In March 2015, Italian football expert Rob McCluskey claimed Obertan had "turned into Zidane for a second with that amazing spinning touch yesterday."
Obertan has been active with France on the youth level. He has received caps with the under-16s, under-17s, under-18s, and the under-19s. With the under-16s, Obertan made 10 appearances scoring only one goal. The following season, he played with the under-17s making 12 appearances and scoring three goals. Despite appearing alongside players like David N'Gog, Moussa Sissoko, Adel Taarabt, and Grégory Sertic, Obertan and the team failed to qualify for the 2006 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, due to their second place finish in the Elite Round. With the under-18s, Obertan made 9 total appearances, but failed to get on the scoresheet. He rarely played with the under-19 team making just 2 appearances and scoring his lone goal against Sweden in a 2–1 victory during the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship elite qualification round.
Obertan earned his first cap with the under-21 team on 11 February 2009 against Tunisia. On 31 March 2009, he scored his first under-21 goal against the England under-21s in a friendly at the City Ground in Nottingham.
|Club||Season||League||Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[nb 1]||Total|
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- Sweden 1 – 2 France Match Report
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- Gabriel Obertan French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- Gabriel Obertan at L'Équipe Football (French)
- Gabriel Obertan – UEFA competition record
- ESPN FC profile