ALAN Pardew is hoping the return from injury of wingers Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux will be like having two new signings at his disposal.
And he has backed the duo to help Newcastle United build on the success of last season.
Toon boss Pardew is set to return to his desk this week after a well-earned summer break.
The Magpies confounded the critics last season by finishing fifth in the Premier League table, having been tipped to struggle by many people after a tumultuous summer that saw them lose the likes of Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique, as well as Joey Barton just after the season started.
But an influx of new players, particularly a French contingent that included Obertan, Marveaux, Yohan Cabaye and Paris-born Demba Ba, helped United build on their early momentum and remain at the top of the table for the entire campaign.
Obertan showed some form early in his United career, before tailing off and missing a couple of months with toe and ankle injuries, while Marveaux never really got going at St James’s Park, limping off in his only Premier League start against Everton with a groin injury that later required surgery.
Both wingers returned to the United squad just before the end of the campaign, Obertan making a couple of substitute appearances though Marveaux wasn’t called off the bench.
But Pardew has backed the duo to be key performers for the club when the new season kicks off.
“This is going to be a different year, you have to remember that,” said the Newcastle manager.
“Different players will come in and out of form – it won’t just be about those who did well last year.
“I’m expecting Gabby Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux to be back and raring to go.
“They are two players that can have big seasons for us next year.”
Meanwhile, French side Monaco announced on their official website last night that they will be playing Newcastle in a pre-season friendly in the German town of Landsberg am Lech on July 16.
This comes after German Third Division outfit Chemntiz announced they would play the Magpies on July 13, though United have yet to confirm either fixture.