NEWCASTLE United defender Paul Dummett believes new signing Remy Cabella will have supporters on the edge of their seats this season – just like fellow Frenchman David Ginola did in the 90s.
Cabella arrived in a deal worth £7m from Montpellier last month and has already impressed during pre-season after receiving a standing ovation when substituted in the second half of Sunday’s win over Real Sociedad.
The 24-year-old is the latest in a long list of French midfield exports to arrive on Tyneside and he follows in the footsteps of David Ginola, Laurent Robert and Yohan Cabaye to wear the black and white shirt.
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Although he was only six-years-old when Ginola left St James’ Park for Tottenham in 1997, Dummett is well aware of what the Frenchman brought to Tyneside and having spent the last few weeks playing alongside Cabella, the defender believes he has the attributes that will excite supporters.
“I loved Ginola when he was here. I suppose there are similarities between the two of them,” Dummett said.
“Ginola was probably more direct but Cabella has a box of tricks like him - anyone who’s seen him in pre-season will have seen that.
“He is tricky, can see a pass and I’m sure he will create a lot of goals for us. He’s going to have the fans on the edge of their seats and give us something we probably lacked towards the end of last season.”
Dummett came off the bench against Real Sociedad on Sunday and the left-back is likely to start the season behind Massadio Haidara in the pecking order at St James’ Park.
With Davide Santon ruled out through injury, Magpies boss Alan Pardew has preferred Haidara during pre-season, but Dummett insists he will work hard to impress when he isn’t in the team.
He said: “I’ve managed to get a few games under my belt and came on in the second half against Real Sociedad so I feel ready.
“There’s Haidara and myself battling it out but the club have signed a lot of players during the summer and there’s competition for places right through the team. That’s a good thing and very healthy because it means everyone has to be performing well just to get a game.
“It’s a massive season for me. I need to push on and get more games than last season but I know I have a fight on my hands to get a position. Every game I play, I need to do as well as I can to give the manager something to think about.”
And asked whether he would try to engineer a loan move should he not play, the 22-year-old said: “It’s up to the manager what he wants to do but I want to fight for my place, train well, week in week out and if it’s not me in the team at first, just work harder and fight even harder.”
Newcastle hosted an open training day at St James’ Park yesterday giving fans the chance to see the first team put through their paces ahead of Sunday’s opening game against Manchester City.
Having made nine new signings over the summer the mood on Tyneside is optimistic. Emulating their 10th place finish is achievable and Pardew revealed he has already set his squad a target of 48 points – even though that total wouldn’t have been enough to finish in the top ten last term.
“The average for this club over the last ten years in the Premier League is 48 points and I think if we can get that or anything above it will be a good season for us,” Pardew said.
“But like clubs we dream of higher than that and we’ll have to see where we go.
“We’ve bought in some real quality this summer. After losing Yohan Cabaye we needed to bring some offensive stability to the team and to strengthen it.
“We’re really pleased with the work we’ve done, but the proof is in the pudding and we need to deliver on a Saturday or a Sunday.
“We’re going to play a brand of football that Newcastle United fans expect. Towards the back end of Last year we didn’t have enough offensive players to put on the kind of performances we’re used to. This year we’ve got lots of option from the bench and lots of quality.”
And the Magpies boss hasn’t ruled out more summer signings, saying: “If something comes along that we think is right for us we have got scope to move. Whether we do will depend on the finance and whether it’s right or not.”