DARYL Janmaat’s yet to put a foot wrong for Newcastle United – and he will help the club take a big stride forward this season.
The defender joined the club from Feyenoord last month in a £5m deal.
Janmaat – who helped Holland reach the semi-finals of this summer’s World Cup – has big boots to fill, having been signed to replace Mathieu Debuchy, who helped new his club Arsenal with the Community Shield on Sunday.
But United manager Alan Pardew has liked what he has seen so far of Janmaat, who started the club’s final two pre-season fixtures.
Janmaat - who reported back later than the bulk of his team-mates after his involvement at the World Cup - strolled through Sunday’s 1-0 win over Real Sociedad. The 25-year-old has quickly eased himself into Pardew’s starting XI – and he will start Sunday’s Premier League season-opener against Manchester City at St James’s Park.
“I thought we had some good performances and in particular Janmaat, who didn’t put a foot wrong,” said Pardew.
Pardew has also been impressed by attacking midfielder Remy Cabella and striker Emmanuel Riviere, who scored five pre-season goals between them.
“Remy showed the quality he’s going to bring us,” said Pardew, who is still keen to bring another striker to the club before the transfer window closes on September 1.
“And Manu’s strength and power at the top of the pitch was important to us.”
The half-time introduction of winger Rolando Aarons – whose performances have been labelled by Pardew as the “highlight” of the club’s pre-season – livened up Newcastle.
Time and again Aarons ran at the visiting defence, and the teenager is likely to be involved against City, having seized his pre-season chance with both hands.
Pardew added: “The young lads all made a contribution again. There’s a good mood in the dressing room.”
Meanwhile, City have signed Eliaquim Mangala for £32m from Porto ahead of their visit to Tyneside.
“City is a top club in Europe,” said the 23-year-old defender. “For me, it was an important step to leave Porto and join Manchester City in order to continue my progress.
“I want to win titles, and I believe I can do this. I am ambitious, and this is why I am here.
“I’m very happy to come to England, because, for me, the Premier League is the best league in the world.”