EPL Season Preview: What Impact Will Newcastle's Latest French Import Have?

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 13, 2012

For the fifth time in the past two seasons, Newcastle United have bought a French midfielder.

Last season, the Frenchman purchased by manager Alan Pardew turned out to have a good season at the Sports Direct Arena.

This season, Romain Amalfitano is the latest French midfielder to join the Magpies.

Amalfitano came to Tyneside from Reims in France, who just earned promotion to Ligue 1.

All of Newcastle's fans are hoping he turns out just like other Frenchman who crossed the English Channel and landed in the northeast of England.

The other French players to come over to the club were Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux.

After a season ravaged by injury, Ben Arfa came back stronger than ever last season and was one of the club's top players.

The other three midfielders came over before the start of the 2011-12 season and Cabaye was the one that made the most important impact.

Cabaye played in 34 games for the club last season and was a solid piece in the midfield behind the club's two star strikers, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.

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Obertan also experienced success at the Sports Direct Arena and was a regular in Pardew's lineup, making 23 appearances for the club.

As for Marveaux, he was injured in November and will look to mirror Ben Arfa's 2011-12 season and come back strong for injury.

So, where does the new signing Amalfitano fit into this already strong French-based midfield?

The answer is that he fits right into the middle of the action.

The 22-year-old will most likely be in a rotation with his fellow countrymen, as well as Cheik Tiote and Jonas Gutierrez.

With Ben Arfa and Obertan splitting time on the right wing and Marveaux being the backup to Gutierrez on the left side, it is certain that Amalfitano will fit into the center of the midfield.

Amalfitano could fit there alongside either Tiote or Cabaye, a spot that was vacated after Danny Guthrie left the club for Reading this summer.

One concern about the young new signing is that he has not played above a second flight in any European league, with his only experience coming from playing in Ligue 2.

While he helped Reims earn a promotion to Ligue 1, Amalfitano impressed Pardew enough to get the manager to bring him over to the club.

With the comfort of having other Frenchmen at the club and no pressure to be the star of the club, Amalfitano will have no problem fitting into the side and succeeding.

If all goes well on Tyneside, there could be a second Amalfitano brother joining the club, Romain's brother Morgan plays for Marseille in Ligue 1 and you guessed it, he is also a midfielder.