SYLVAIN Marveaux is set to come in from the cold – as the winter sets in on Tyneside.
The Newcastle United midfielder hasn’t kicked a ball in anger in more than two months, and had been linked with a loan move away from the club.
Marveaux – who is fully fit after recovering from a recent injury – hasn’t even made the bench in recent weeks.
His absence from United manager Alan Pardew’s matchday squads has left fans wondering whether he has a future at Newcastle.
But Pardew – whose side take on West Bromwich Albion at St James’s Park tomorrow – has insisted Marveaux hasn’t been frozen out at St James’s Park.
And he says the 27-year-old, signed on a free transfer from Stade Rennais in the summer of 2011, is likely to see action over the busy Christmas and New Year period.
“He’s in the squad, but he’s not getting on the bench at the minute,” Pardew said.
“I’m sure between now and the end of February he’ll be used. He’s training well.
“I have absolutely no problems with him.”
Pardew feels he his squad is stronger than it was last season, when the club battled the threat of relegation from the Premier League.
And it’s not just Marveaux who has failed to make the bench of late.
Defender Steven Taylor wasn’t among the substitutes for last weekend’s game against Norwich City, despite recovering from a hamstring problem.
And Hatem Ben Arfa and Vurnon Anita have found starts hard to come by, while Sammy Ameobi hasn’t featured during the club’s three-game winning streak, despite impressing in training.
However, that could all change over the coming weeks should injuries and suspensions deprive Pardew of players during the busiest part of the campaign.
“It’s difficult because they’re great players, and as a manager I can only have 11,” said Pardew.
“It hurts me sometimes when I can’t play players.
“Sammy Ameobi, actually, is a player who’s looked terrific, but I can’t give him a game at the minute.
“All these players will get games. In the next seven and a half weeks we’ve got 14 games.
“It’s the big, tough part of the season. Your squad needs to kick in. I think we’re much stronger than we were last year depth-wise.”
In his pre-match Press conference, Pardew cited the example of defender Mike Williamson.
Williamson only made his seasonal debut in late September.
But he has since established himself as a mainstay of Pardew’s defence.
“Mike Williamson is an example of someone who wasn’t anywhere near the first team,” said Pardew.
“He found an opportunity, and took it.
“He will play – 100 per cent.”