New Faces
By Jamie Orrell
Thursday 17 Nov 2011 09:50:00
Browse all Jamie Orrell articles
 


 

Yohan Cabaye

 

From Lille’s double winning team Yohan Cabaye who was the first to make the move across the channel to the Premier League. And it was Newcastle who won the race for the Frenchman’s services in a deal worth around €5million. Cabaye could be integral to Newcastle next season and is charged with filling the Kevin Nolan shaped hole in Newcastle’s midfield. And the 25-year-old believes he can succeed in England, Cabaye said: “I want to adapt to the rhythm here, which is a lot quicker (than in France), and it is one of the best leagues in the world.

 

“I like being on the ball, playing with ball and making lots of passes. I am not a big dribbler, but I like unsettling the opposition with short or long passes.

 

“I am really excited about discovering the Premier League, St James’ Park and all of Newcastle’s fans, and hopefully this season will go as well as possible for the team and for me.

 

He added: “I am very excited for the season ahead, especially when I see the stadium and the facilities here. I am excited to start training and to meet my new teammates.”

 

Cabaye has been at his creative best for Lille in their charge to the French title earning international recognition from Laurent Blanc. It was a natural progression for Cabaye who has represented France at every level from under-16 to the senior side. But he was made to wait for his first cap until August 2010 when Laurent Blanc replaced the disgraced Raymond Domenech and France began to rebuild its national side. Cabaye appeared as a substitute against Norway that night but has since appeared in another three friendly games including an eye catching win against Brazil.

 

It was his form for Lille, however, that earned the attention of scouts across Europe, especially in the 2009-10 campaign when he netted 15 times in all competitions. Although he only scored four times last season, his set pieces and assists were consistent throughout both seasons, 11 in 2009-10 and nine last term. Cabaye’s finest moment came when he helped Lille to their first French league title since 1954. He proved to be a vital supply line to forwards Sow, Gervinho and Hazard. The title win seemed the perfect way for Cabaye to sign off, after over 200 appearances in seven years at the Stadium Lille Metropole. The Cup followed, as Lille defeated Paris St Germain 1-0 at the Stade De France to complete an unprecedented double. Lille coach Rudi Garcia broke the news of Cabaye’s departure after the final game of the season.

He said: “Yohan told us yesterday – first me, then the whole group before the game – that he has chosen to join Newcastle. It is a choice that I respect, although I wish he continued the adventure with us”

The Geordies activated a release clause in Cabaye’s contract and tempted the Frenchman with the prospect of playing Premier League football. And it appears Newcastle have a new creative midfielder with an eye for a goal, who should stay for the long haul after signing a five-year-deal on Tyneside.

 

Demba Ba

 

Ba is the most recognisable face to arrive at the club this summer after a brilliant five months at Upton Park last season. Ba became a free agent when West Ham were relegated due to a clause in his contract and instantly became one of the hottest properties of the transfer window. Newcastle saw off competition from the likes of Everton, Sunderland and a host of European clubs to land the powerful striker.

 

The Senegal international netted seven times in just 10 starts for West Ham after a move to Stoke fell through due to a failed medical. The Potters’ questioned the condition of Ba’s knees, but the 26-year-old is is confident that his knee will not be any trouble on Tyneside.

 

On arrival Ba spoke to the media, he said: “People will talk about that all my life. I will prove there is no problem by playing well and scoring goals. You can’t stop people talking, let them talk. I am fit and healthy.

 

“With Stoke, these things happen for a reason. A week later I had signed for West Ham. Stoke was not a good club for me. I do not have any regrets about that.

 

“They will only stop asking about it if they see me playing and scoring goals. Look at the stats from West Ham last season and I did that. I will let my football do the talking.”

 

Ba spent a year in England in 2004-05 at Watford, but returned to his native France when he signed for Rouen where he scored 22 goals in just 26 games. He then moved scored eight goals in 12 games for Belgian side Mouscron. The striker then moved to Hoffenheim, where he gained the attention of a number of English clubs with 40 goals in four seasons at the Bundesliga outfit. And Ba is confident that his prolific record can continue at St James’ Park.

 

He said: “Mentally I am very strong. Every time I step on the pitch it is to win, no matter Swansea of Man United, I want to win. You have to be mentally strong to play at a club like this.

 

“It is a good thing that there is pressure here and that the crowds are demanding and need entertaining. If you are a good strong player you can thrive on that and rise to the challenge.”

 

 

 

Slyvain Marveaux

 

Newcastle again raided the free market by announcing the surprise signing of French winger Slyvain Marveaux. The 25-year-old seemed set to join Kenny Dalglish’s Anfield revolution after seeing out his contract in France with Rennes but the deal collapsed. Reports claimed that Marveaux, who suffered a groin tear last season keeping him out since November had failed a medical at Liverpool, something refuted by the winger.

 

"I do not want to go into details, but if I have not signed for Liverpool, it was because there was a contractual disagreement between the involved parties,” he told L'Equipe.

 

Marveaux described the reports as ‘disgusting’ and declared himself fit to play: "Today, I can undergo a medical before you and you will see there is no problem,"

 

But if Newcastle can keep the former France Under-21 International fit he will add an extra dimension to their attack. Marveaux had been in sparkling form for Rennes at the start of the campaign, drawing interest from Europe and rumours of a senior International call-up but injury halted his progress. It has been fitness issues that have stopped the 25-year-old becoming a top player in France.These injury problems started early affecting his international chances from the start. He missed the European under-19 championships in 2005 due to knee ligament damage. He was also absent for virtually the whole of the 2008-09 campaign with a torn hamstring.

 

These constant strains and tears are a consequence of his explosive pace and all action style. Often playing on the opposite flank allowing him to cut inside and shoot, Marveaux can be a real threat in the Premier League.

 

Mehdi Abeid

Eighteen-year-old midfielder Mehdi Abeid slipped under the radar in the summer but his move from Lens could be a significant one for Newcastle. Abeid is considered one of the brightest prospects in French football and has already looked bright in the Toon’s pre-season fixtures. Newcastle again took advantage of the player’s contract situation after it expired with French club Lens, although United did have to pay the French outfit compensation.

 

Reserve team manager Peter Beardsley said: "We are delighted to bring Mehdi to the club.

"He is a bright, young talent and we think he has an exciting future ahead of him.

"After an impressive trial with us earlier in the year, I'm looking forward to working with Mehdi and developing his talent."

 

1,318 words

 

@jamieorrell

http://born-offside.com



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