Newcastle United are on the rise – Yohan Cabaye

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NEWCASTLE United’s Yohan Cabaye’s confident he’s joined a club on the up.

The midfielder was the first of manager Alan Pardew’s summer signings, arriving from Lille earlier this month for a reported £4.8million fee.

Cabaye was followed to St James’s Park last week by Senegal international striker Demba Ba and French countryman Sylvain Marveaux.

And Swansea City defender Neil Taylor is expected to sign for United this week.

While the early arrivals have excited fans on Tyneside more used to the club doing business nearer the back end of the summer transfer window, there’s disquiet about the prospect of Joey Barton following influential former captain Kevin Nolan out of the club.

Leon Best, Alan Smith and Nile Ranger are also available for transfer, while Kazenga LuaLua is wanted by former loan club Brighton and Hove Albion.

The scale of the rebuilding has come as a surprise to many, Pardew having hinted more at evolution than revolution late last season when talking about his plans for the transfer market.

However, Cabaye, a box-to-box player with an eye for a pass, is confident Newcastle will start the season with a team capable of making an impression in the Premier League, and bettering last term’s 12th-placed finish.

“It’s important to stay in the Premier League, and the club’s ambition is to compete in the top half of the division,” Cabaye, pictured above, said.

“I’m confident the club can climb the league in the coming years.

“The club has some very good players and I think I can add something to the squad and the team.

“I enjoy being on the ball and having possession, and that is what the manager wants from me.

“I’m looking forward to the new season.”

Cabaye is first looking forward to a well-earned rest, having helped Lille to a domestic league and cup double.

The 25-year-old was also involved in France’s end-of-season internationals before sealing his move to St James’s Park and he is confident he will be refreshed by the time he reports back on July 4.

“I’m excited to meet the staff and the players, and looking forward to integrating myself into the team,” Cabaye went on. “I’m also looking forward to living in England.

“But I have had a long season and first I am looking forward to having a break before the challenge of playing in the Premier League for Newcastle.

“I’m very happy to have signed for Newcastle, but I must first rest and prepare myself for pre-season training.

“Next season is very important for me and the club, and I want to be ready to play my part.”