NEW signing Sylvain Marveaux has been backed to light up St James’s Park – just like French countryman Laurent Robert did before him for Newcastle United.
The winger joined the club on a free transfer from Rennes last week after talks with Liverpool broke down.
Left-footed Marveaux can play on either flank, and assistant manager John Carver – who worked with Robert during his time as No2 to Sir Bobby Robson – is hopeful he will have a similar impact.
While frustrating at times, Robert – who had a stunning first season at the club after his move from Paris Saint-Germain a decade ago – was electryfying at his best, and his goals are still talked about on Tyneside.
And Carver believes 25-year-old Marveaux – who has signed a five-year deal at United – is also capable of getting St James’s Park on its feet.
“He’s a left-sided player, and has been a long-time target of the club going back to last year,” Carver said.
“We’re delighted to get him. He’s got a great delivery on him, and can also play on the right-hand side.
“Liverpool were keen on him, but negotiations broke down, and obviously we took him. We’re pleased to get a player who can play on the left or right side.
“We want players who can get fans on the edge of their seats, like Laurent Robert. His deliveries and goals were second to none. Hopefully, Sylvain can provide the same sort of assists for the strikers.”
Marveaux, however, hasn’t played since November, when he aggravated a groin problem, and there were reports he had failed a medical at Anfield before he crossed the Pennines to join Newcastle.
Those claims were quickly rejected by Marveaux, who said the move broken down because of “contractual disagreement”, and Carver is confident he’ll be fit for the coming Premier League season.
Marveaux returned to fitness before the end of last term, but was left out of the Rennes team because of his imminent exit.
“There have been question marks over his injuries, but one reason he didn’t play towards the end of last season was that the club knew he was leaving,” added Carver.
The former France Under-21 international was the club’s third summer signing, Marveaux following countryman Yohan Cabaye, a midfielder, and Senegal international striker Demba Ba to St James’s Park.