Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew believes Remy Cabella can be the Magpies’ answer to Tottenham Hotspur’s Erik Lamela when the Toon visit Spurs on Sunday while the White Hart Lane faithful are still talking about Lamela’s wonder goal for Spurs in the UEFA Europa League in Thursday’s 5-1 romp against Greek side Asteras Tripolis.
Lamela was signed from Roma for £30 million, and has taken over a year to find his feet in the English Premier League after an injury-hit first season with Spurs, and Newcastle’s Frenchman Cabella, who was signed for £12 from Montpellier during the summer, has also found it tough adjusting to the English game.
Pardew has dropped the midfielder to the bench for two games now, where the struggling Toon lifted themselves of the foot of the table with a draw at Swansea City and a home win over Leicester City, but 24-year-old Cabella is back in contention after a week of hard graft on the training ground.
“He’s trained well this week. We brought him here to produce a moment like Lamela produced the other night – that’s what we need from him,” said Pardew.
“Hopefully, coming out of the side and giving him a little rest has given him the opportunity to understand what the Premier League is about and come back stronger.”
Pardew believes Cabella can hit the right note eventually, just like Alex Song did under Pardew at Charlton Atheltic.
“I do think some players take a long time to settle here,” he said.
“I’ve had a few like that. I remember Arsenal loaned me Alex Song when I was at Charlton and they didn’t think he was ready.”
“But he was absolutely terrific for me after six or seven games. Sometimes it just falls into place and you have to be patient with foreign internationals.”
Pardew insists Spurs’ strong squad means Mauricio Pochettino’s men are serious contenders of winning the Europa League this season, but Spurs currently lie two points away from the Euro qualifying spot in the Premier League table at ninth, but Pardew has tipped them to close the gap.
He said: “Spurs are shielded by the depth of their squad.”
“I think they’re in a good position to challenge in the Europa League.”