Steve McClaren has hailed all action Florian Thauvin after he lit up St James’s Park with a goal and three assists on his Newcastle United debut.
Even though McClaren admits he never quite knows what to expect from his new £13million summer signing.
You saw, his (Thauvin’s) delivery is excellent, so he can score and assist and do the work.
Thauvin’s man of the match performance in the 4-1 win over Northampton Town sealed a relatively comfortable passage into the third round of the Capital One Cup.
It took just three minutes for Thauvin to open his account, prodding home from close range to give the Magpies the lead against the League Two side.
And he went onto provide all three assists to ensure victory and a home draw against Sheffield Wednesday in the third round.
“I thought he was very good when he came on, even for 10 minutes, at Old Trafford and showed his quality,” said McClaren.
“He has been terrific in training.
“You never know what to expect – you have seen a lot of him, but he is confident, he has got great ability, but the key thing is he can score and he can assist, and that’s a big asset for us.
“What pleased me was that attacking-wise, we looked more of a threat than we have done in previous games, and the squad is come together very nicely – and I emphasis the word ‘squad’.”
Thauvin, signed from Marseille, was the stand-out performer, both in front of goal and creating goals for Siem de Jong, Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson.
McClaren added: “Great delivery – that’s going to be vital, very important.
“You can have tall men and all the good headers in the world, but if you don’t get delivery, you get nothing.
“You saw, his (Thauvin’s) delivery is excellent, so he can score and assist and do the work.
“That’s what he can do.”
Thauvin was one of several players to pose McClaren a selection dilemma ahead of the visit of Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime.
De Jong was back in the starting line-up for the first time in over a year and along with Rolando Aarons and Ayoze Perez all impressed.
McClaren admits he has a tough choice to make ahead of the visit of the Gunners.
Asked whether he had a selection headache?
McClaren added: “Yes, that’s right.
“It’s a different game all together, but certainly.
“Ayoze, it was good to see him up front with Papiss Cisse being ill, so that was good to see.
“I have never seen him there before and I thought he was very good.
“But we always say the front four have got to be a threat, and our front four were a threat, a good link in Siem de Jong once he got on the ball.
“The penetration of Ayoze and the eye of Thauvin and the pace of Rolando (Aarons) caused them problems, and it was good to see.”
Newcastle, playing in front of a crowd of over 27,000, didn’t have it all their own way against a positive Cobblers side, but they got the job done.
McClaren added: “Twenty-seven thousand, what a great crowd as well.
“They have probably gone away and like me, pleased with the attacking side of what we did.”