(Reuters) – France right back Mathieu Debuchy is poised to make his Newcastle United debut at Norwich City on Saturday with the stuttering Premier League side hoping for some good news in defence after a period of woe.
The north east club finished fifth last term but are down in 15th this season and have been shipping goals, with a 4-3 loss at Manchester United and 7-3 defeat at Arsenal followed by a 2-1 reverse at home to Everton.
Last weekend they were eliminated from the FA Cup third round by second tier Brighton and Hove Albion and now media reports say influential centre back and captain Fabricio Coloccini wants to return to Argentina for personal reasons.
Boss Alan Pardew once compared Coloccini to England’s 1966 World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore but on Friday he was eulogising about Debuchy following his move from Lille.
"Mathieu has come in and been accomplished," Pardew, hit by injuries to his back line all season, told the club website (www.nufc.co.uk).
"He’s not really ripped any trees up but he just looks like a proper, senior player who knows the game. I haven’t had to give him too much information but a few of our wide players haven’t had too much joy against him.
"I’m really looking forward to seeing him in a Newcastle shirt – I think he will add some real quality to us."
Debuchy’s France team mate Yohan Cabaye is also in contention to return from a two-month injury layoff at Norwich along with fellow midfielder Jonas Gutierrez but striker Shola Ameobi is banned.
(Writing by Mark Meadows; editing by Tony Jimenez)
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