Alan Pardew was pleased with the performance of summer acquisition Sylvain Marveaux after the Frenchman made his debut for Newcastle in a friendly against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.
The match, which ended in a hard-fought 0-0 draw, saw Hatem Ben Arfa carried off on a stretcher after sustaining an ankle injury.
The news will come as a blow to Newcastle, although Pardew insists the injury may not be as bad as initially thought.
“When you have had a terrible injury like Hatem, most people will be at a certain stage for a while. We hope he will be fine,” Pardew said.
And the Toon manager had nothing but nice things to say about Marveaux, who will no doubt be a big feature in the Newcastle squad come August 13, when the side take on Arsenal in their opening game of the season.
“Marveaux was a big plus for us. He is going to be a big player for us this season,” Pardew said. “He hasn’t played for ten months – but he still showed glimpses of what he is all about.
“We are looking forward to seeing a lot more from him. He is a great worker.”
Jose Enrique failed to feature in the friendly fixture, sending transfer rumours into overdrive that the left-back is set to exit Newcastle. But Pardew insisted that injury was the only reason that Enrique was a no-show.
He said: “José has a knock on his hamstring, there is nothing suspicious about it. We would never risk him in that situation.”
Newcastle will continue their USA tour with the side taking on Orlando City on Saturday, and Columbus Crew next Tuesday.