JACK Colback will be a key figure – and NOT merely a squad player – for Alan Pardew’s new-look Newcastle United.
The midfielder joined the club from Sunderland on a free transfer.
And manager Pardew is adamant that Colback hasn’t just been signed to make up the numbers.
Pardew feels the 24-year-old’s “inner determination, drive and fight” will prove invaluable to a team which has rarely come from behind to take anything from a game in recent seasons.
“I think he’s an important player,” Pardew said. “One criticism of the team last season was when we went behind – we couldn’t turn that into a winning situation.
“Jack’s the sort of player who’s important when you go behind.
“He has that inner determination, drive and fight in him. He’s always competitive.”
Newcastle have again been linked with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was a target while at Saint-Etienne.
Borussia Dortmund are understood to be willing to sell the 25-year-old less than 12 months after signing him.
However, should the club renew its interest in Aubameyang, they will face competition from AS Roma.
Aubameyang’s representative has been quoted as saying the Gabon international was keen to return to Italy, having started his career at AC Milan.
Meanwhile, United have played down speculation linking the club with a move for Metz striker Diafra Sakho.