Well well well, looks like Pardew doesn't only have eyes for strikers. Newcastle have pulled what Pards is calling a "coup" snapping up Sylvain Marveaux on a free! Sylvain is an attacking midfielder from Rennes FC of Ligue 1, who was reportedly being pursued by a number of mid level clubs, and since he wasn't on our rumor list allow me to give you a bit of a profile after the jump.
Sylvain Marveaux was born in Vannes, France, and started his career, which is still quite young, for the Rennes FC youth system in 2001. He's had 11 caps for the French U21 National team, and scored 4 times in those. For Rennes FC he's been an everyday player for the last couple of years, but this last season was cut terribly short by a groin injury. Now he's coming to Tyneside on a free, though I don't have contract specifics yet.
The lad is fast. Very. Fast. He picks good routes and gets to his spots very quickly. The downside of his speed is a slight propensity toward leg and groin injuries, which could be a concern. I feel confident that under the guidance of the trainers on Tyneside Sylvain will have strong and healthy legs under him.
He's naturally left footed which is something this team sorely needs, but with Sylvain it's even better. His passes are crisp and rarely off mark, his set pieces curl big and move fast, he dribbles into, around, and through defenders with a sort of clever skill, and he's superbly creative. That's with his left foot. Don't ask him to do anything at all with that second appendage he keeps down below his knees. Also don't ask him to be a down-field target man, he will lose most every aerial contest he gets in.
The biggest hill the trainers and coaches at NUFC have to climb with Marveaux is his defense. He has an attackers mindset, which is great, but he can be exploited when covering for, say, an attacking Left Back. Also it seems he'd rather not get on that side of the field at all. His "hustle back" doesn't hustle anywhere. Second hill, we'll have to teach him how to cross. Like our own Jonas Gutierrez he seems to abandon good crossing options in favor of, well, other stuff. After watching several videos of him, I started wondering if he came up in a different position on the field, because he doesn't play like a winger at all.
How bout let's finish up with a little video, sorry it's in French.