Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle right club for me - Amalfitano

Newcastle new boy Romain Amalfitano believes the Tyneside club is the perfect match for him.

The 22-year-old midfielder will officially become a Magpies player on July 1 when his contract with Reims in his native France ends. And Amalfitano feels he has the right mind-set for Newcastle, who finished fifth in the Barclays Premier League to secure Europa League football for the 2012-13 campaign.

Amalfitano told the club's official website: "Naturally, I have this winning mentality that footballers tend to have. Newcastle have already shown last season in their performances without me that they've also got that kind of mentality. So I'm hoping to learn and get involved as much as possible with that."

He added: "I've never played in any of the European competitions and of course I'm excited to do that.

"But I just want to impose myself here. That's my main objective for the moment - to make a place for myself in the team."

One of Newcastle boss Alan Pardew's best signings from last term was the January capture of striker Papiss Cisse, who scored 13 goals in 14 appearances for the Magpies.

Pardew will be hoping there is no let up from the Senegal international in the campaign to come, although Cisse could be absent for some of his club's pre-season schedule having declared his readiness to play for his country at the London Olympics this summer if called upon to do so.

The 26-year-old would need to be selected as one of Senegal's three overage players in a tournament primarily for the under-23s, but said he would be "proud" to take part.

"The Olympics is a very important competition, look at players like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham (potentially set to be among Great Britain's over-age players) who have achieved such great things in their careers and want to win it," said Cisse, quoted in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

"My concern is that I might take the place of a young player in the team. I think that this would be hard, like if I was being replaced in the World Cup squad. I think that the emphasis should be on young players enjoying the competition. But if the management team want me to play I will be proud to do so."


From Belfast Telegraph