Last season was somewhat of a French revolution for Newcastle United, with almost every one of Alan Pardew’s summer signings coming from France or a French-speaking country.
Stars like Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse really took the Premier League by storm, and their performances ended up getting Newcastle into the Europa League for the first time since it was re-branded.
But one such signing who couldn’t take part in the French revolution on Tyneside was Sylvain Marveaux, the promising young star signed from Rennes in 2011.
Following a knee injury that kept him out in his last season at Rennes, Marveaux’s season was cut short by yet another injury, this time to his groin.
Marveaux definitely looked talented in his seven games last season, as he broke into the side early on ahead of Gabriel Obertan. But it was 58 minutes into his first start against Everton that the groin problems started to come, and it abruptly finished with Marveaux in need of season-ending surgery.
The surgery wasn’t supposed to be season-ending, though. Marveaux was scheduled to be back by February, ready to join the team in their race for the Champions League. But it wasn’t to be, as the injury problems just wouldn’t go away.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had no reservations about the magnitude of the injury, telling The Chronicle that the injury was ”probably the biggest blow we’ve had this season.”
Though he hasn’t actually appeared in a first-team game since November, Marveaux did manage to earn a place on the bench towards the end of the season, but obviously he wasn’t quite in good enough game-shape for Pardew to actually put him out on the pitch.
Heading into 2012-13, Marveaux will be looking to get back on track after his promising but ultimately short start, with a lot of appearances headed his way if he can repeat that same form. Marveaux may not start over Jonas Gutierrez in left-midfield, but with the Europa League beckoning, Newcastle’s depth will be getting a lot of playing time next season.
And if the Toon are to be successful in Europe, they’ll need guys as talented as Marveaux to step up to the plate.
With Newcastle interested in a number of players in this summer transfer window, they effectively already have their first “new” player in Sylvain Marveaux, and they’ll be hoping he’ll finally be able to make that big impact we expected to see last season.