As if further evidence were required to show that Newcastle have positioned themselves as a forward thinking club, just look at the plans that are already in motion for their new-look development squad. The Academy is currently undergoing a massive overhaul and Newcastle have released ten players with a view to filling those gaps with new signings.
The first new arrival is understood to be Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano. The 22-year-old has been making some waves in French football, but will be out of contract this summer and available on a free transfer. Speaking to Sky Sports Amalfitano noted:
“I am a Reims player and I will be out of contract at the end of the season. I want to finish this season strongly. Newcastle are a fantastic club and to play for them would be a dream come true, but nothing is done as yet. Let’s wait and see what happens.”
Whilst he’s only proven himself in Ligue 2, he’s a typical Pardew signing. He’s technically gifted, comfortable on the ball and effective beyond his years.
Whilst he may not have the pedigree of a player like Yohan Cabaye or Hatem Ben Arfa, I can’t help but feel that he’s still going to make for an excellent signing. He’s a developing player, with a good footballing brain and a great engine.
I wonder if he will slowly but surely establish himself as the player that Gabriel Obertan has failed to become. He’s perfect in the behind-the striker role but can play anywhere across the midfield. He’s versatile, direct and skilful – all assets he shares with Obertan, but there seems to be more substance to his football.
Fans will sincerely hope that he’s capable of making the step up, especially because many sources are already reporting that it’s a done deal.
The fact is, this is a win-win for Newcastle. They’ve got another French talent on their books for cheap who has very little pressure on his shoulders. It scarcely matters if he’s a success or not because the club didn’t exactly spend big on him.
Whilst clubs like Liverpool have to deal with a heavy weight of expectation thanks to big money signings (like £35m Andy Carroll) Newcastle have gone down the more sensible route. So let’s hope that they continue to reap the rewards.
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