Massadio Haidara

Newcastle spends again, splashing $18 million on Marseille midfielder Thauvin

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Newcastle United got its man.

Florian Thauvin has long been a target for Northeast England club, and Wednesday found him a member of it.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

It’s five-year deal for Thauvin, and the move reportedly cost the club $18 million and the services of last summer’s French flop, Remy Cabella, who wasn’t given much of a chance to shine under Alan Pardew and John Carver.

Now Thauvin, 22, brings his creative, attacking midfield flair into the unit to the tune of 13 Ligue 1 goals during two seasons at Marseille. And it brings notoriously-stingy Newcastle up to $75 million in net spending this summer, the highest in the Premier League.

From NUFC.co.uk:

“I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” said Thauvin.

“I have come from France to a really big club and am very happy to be here. It is a big honour to know that Newcastle have been after me for such a long time and that they wanted me that much. They have put their trust in me and I am looking forward to playing for the team.”

Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren added: “Florian is a player the Club have been watching for a long time and I am delighted that we have been able to sign him.

“He is a perfect signing for this Club – someone who is young, with great potential and is one of the best young players in Europe. He is an exciting, creative talent who can score goals and make assists, and we believe he will have a very bright future at Newcastle.”

This could be a key move for Newcastle, which has a healthy dose of creative wingers and mids in Siem de Jong, Ayoze Perez, Sissoko and Giorginio Wijnaldum underneath Papiss Cisse and Aleksandar Mitrovic. Newcastle also bought Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht this summer.

There’s been a heavy French and Dutch accent to Newcastle’s recent signings under Graham Carr, and Thauvin slides into a unit with Wijnaldum, Vurnon Anita, Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko (amongst others).

Cabella’s move is a loan with “an obligation to buy at the end of the season subject to certain criteria being met”.

Newcastle 2-2 Southampton: Long’s late equalizer spoils strong Wijnaldum debut

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  • Graziano Pelle opened the scoring 25 minutes in
  • Newcastle levels before halftime via Papiss Cisse
  • Wijnaldum scores on debut just after the break
  • Substitute Long equalizes with 11 minutes to go

After a promising preseason, new signing Georginio Wijnaldum gave Newcastle a home lead early in the second half, but the Magpies couldn’t hold on as Shane Long came off the bench to equalize 11 minutes from the final whistle.

Saints took an early lead through frontman Graziano Pelle, but Papiss Cisse leveled for the home side just before the break, and just minutes after it Wijnaldum bagged the difference-maker.

Wijnaldum had a big chance six minutes in with space in the middle of the box but his shot cannoned off the chest of Steven Davis. Newcastle continued to push forward well early, and Wijnaldum was pulled down by Cedric Soares earning the Portuguese defender an early yellow. By the 20-minute mark Southampton had committed eight fouls to Newcastle’s one.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Southampton got its first chance when Dusan Tadic got space above the top of the box and curled a bending effort just wide with Tim Krul making a diving attempt. Down the other end Fabricio Coloccini’s volleyed effort made contact with Maya Yoshida’s arm in the box from point-blank range but the referee waved the shout off.

25 minutes gone the first breakthrough came. A meaty cross from Soares found the head of Pelle and his powerful header snuck inside the far post just out of Krul’s reach. Newcaslte had another handball shout on the half-hour mark as a corner seemed to strike Jay Rodriguez with his arm very stretched out, but again the referee stood unmoved.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

But just two minutes before halftime, Newcastle worked themselves back level. A short corner cut back to Massadio Haidara whose cross took a huge deflection to the far post where Papiss Cisse was waiting for an easy goal, chesting the ball into the net.

Following halftime, Southampton made a good start but Krul made a beautiful kick-save to keep out a close range header from Yoshida. Then down the other end, Newcastle completed a scything counter-attack for a second goal. Gabriel Obertan latched onto a ball down the right flank and sent in a perfect cross to Wijnaldum who rose above a Cuco Martina for a powerful header and a Newcastle lead.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]

Unfortunately, the Magpies couldn’t hold on. Southampton grabbed the ascendency past the hour mark and began to press forward as the Koeman brother brought on Shane Long for more attacking prowess. It proved prophetic as a cross from Dusan Tadic on the right found Long’s head with 11 minutes to go and Southampton found themselves level.

Saido Mane had a pair of brilliant chances to bring Southampton ahead in stoppage time, but Jack Colback blocked the first effort and Mane sent his second one wide.

Watch Live: Sunderland vs Newcastle (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Sunderland will need to make it five straight over Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle if they wish to pull themselves out of immediate danger at the bottom of the table.

The two heated foes will take to the Stadium of Light at 11am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra. Newcastle seems to be safe from the drop but interim manager John Carver has still seen his side to three straight losses, so both sides have trends to buck.

WATCH LIVE: Sunderland vs Newcastle live on NBC Sports Live Extra

For Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland, Lee Cattermole is back from a two-match suspension, and Billy Jones makes a return to the back line after missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury. However, the Black Cats are still missing Wes Brown and Emmanuel Giaccherini due to injury, while Will Buckley surprisingly returns from a knee problem to make the bench.

Carver, meanwhile, has to deal with news that Massadio Haidara will no longer be available for the rest of the way due to knee surgery, and his team is severely thinned from injury and suspension. Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, and Siem de Jong are all out injured, while Papiss Cisse remains banned for spitting on an opponent and Fabricio Coloccini continues to serve his red card suspension.

Anything goes in a Tyne-Wear derby, and nothing sums that sentiment up than Sunderland’s current streaks. The Black Cats have won four straight in this fixture, while they’ve gone unbeaten in six, but come into today’s matchup winless in eight straight matches across all competitions.

LINEUPS:

Sunderland: Pantilimon; Jones, O’Shea, Vergini, van Aanholt; Larsson, Cattermole, Gomez; Fletcher, Wickham, Defoe.
Bench: Bridcutt, Johnson, Reveillere, Graham, Coates, Buckley, Mannone.

Newcastle: Krul, R.Taylor, Janmaat, Williamson, Colback, Sissoko, Gutierrez, Gouffran, Ameobi, Cabella, Perez.
Bench: Elliot, Anita, Abeid, Kemen, Obertan, Riviere, Armstrong.

Norwich City 0-0 Newcastle United: Dominant Magpies unable to break through (video)

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A revamped Newcastle United controlled their match at Carrow Road, but by full-time, they were reliant on their Dutch international goalkeeper to keep them even with an overmatched Norwich City. With draw-preserving save on Robert Snodgrass in the 90th minute, Tim Krul allowed Newcastle to make it to full-time 0-0, left with a draw in from match they seemed destined to win.

By full-time, despite that destiny carrying them through most of the match, Newcastle was left empty-handed. Despite putting 22 shots toward goal and controlling play for most of the night, the Magpies were unable to break through, with two shots off the woodwork combining with a bad first half miss from Hatem Ben Arfa to limit Newcastle to a point.

That point will keep them in eight place, though the gap between themselves and Manchester United has grown to three. Norwich City, on the other hand, moves six points clear of relegation, now having taken points in three of their last four league matches.

It was Newcastle’s first game without Yohan Cabaye, reported to be in France undergoing a physical ahead of his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. In his wake, Magpies’ manager Alan Pardew moved Moussa Sissoko up to play behind Loic Remy in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Ben Arfa and Sammie Ameobi deployed wide.

The set up allowed Newcastle to dominate from the opening kickoff, the visitors maintaining 60 percent of the match’s possession through the first half. They also put 16 shots toward goal to Norwich’s two, but thanks to the woodwork (on Remy’s 25th minute attempt) and poor finishing (Ben Arfa going over an open goal in the 44th), the teams went into halftime as they started.

A show of pride allowed Norwich to gain a greater hold on the match after intermission, but their fight soon waned. By the 60th minute, when Remy nailed the crossbar with a shot from outside the penalty area, the Canaries were again holding out. Though they were keeping most of Newcastle’s attempts from testing John Ruddy, Norwich’s willingness to regress into their defensive third preserved a lopsided match.

In the 77th minute, Norwich nearly made Newcastle pay for their inability to force one past Ruddy. Off a ball put in from the left by substitute Nathan Redmond, Gary Cooper chipped a ball over Krul and against the crossbar, leaving the Canaries inches away from taking an unlikely lead.

Five minutes later, both sides were reduced to 10 after Remy and Bradley Johnson received matching red cards. With play stopped after the duo battled for a ball, Johnson gave Remy a two-handed push after the Newcastle striker tried to go face-to-face with his adversary. Remy responded by leaning his head into Johnson’s face, leading Johnson to fall back from the contact. Referee Chris Foy elected to dismiss both men.

In the 90th minute, Snodgrass forced Krul into draw-preserving save, with the Newcastle keeper getting across goal to block the midfielder’s header after a Redmond cross to the far post. Though the Toon had appeared to recover after Hooper’s close call, Snodgrass’s try reminded them they were as close to losing the match as winning.

Six minutes later, the game was over, Newcastle left the mixed feelings of having held on for a point in a match they controlled. But although they outshot the Canaries 22-8, they only put three shots on target.

Had Remy been slightly more accurate, had Ben Arfa shown a little more composure, those numbers wouldn’t have mattered. On a day Cabaye started moving away from the club, Newcastle didn’t have a problem generating chances. Their problem was converting them.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 75′), Loic Remy, Sammy Ameobi (Massadio Haidara 87′)

Norwich City: John Ruddy, Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong, MartinOlsson, Robert Snodgrass, Leroy Fer, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington (Nathan Redmond 71′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Johan Elmander 71′), Gary Hooper (Alexander Tettey 84′)

Watch Live: Norwich City vs. Newcastle United (Lineups and Discussion)

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Still battling for a spot in Europe, Newcastle United will sport a new look today against visiting Norwich City. At 2:45 ET, the Magpies will play their first match since agreeing to sell Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain (with the game available to stream on NBC Live Extra).

It’s a blow for Newcastle, if an inevitable one. Cabaye nearly moved this summer, and with teams willing to approach $30 million for the France international, it was only a matter of time until the midfielder moved. With PSG having hit the $33 million mark to bring the former Lille dynamo back to France, Alan Pardew will have to find another way to augment the scoring of Loic Remy up top.

The Magpies enter the day’s match one point back of Manchester United for seventh place, a spot that could prove England’s last entry into UEFA Europa League. Should they fail to adapt to the loss of their best player, Newcastle could settle into mid-table insignificance. The team’s too far from the drop to worry about relegation.

The same can’t be said for Norwich City, though the Canaries have crafted a six-point gap between themselves and 18th. Chris Hughton’s side is coming off a much-needed 1-0 win at Hull City, their first league win since Dec. 7. Make it two in a row, and Norwich could finish the day in the table’s top half.

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To do that, the Canaries will need to find goals, with their 18 on the season ranking 18th in the Premier League. Today, Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel get the call up top. The pair have combined for five goals in 30 appearances this season.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Loic Remy, Sammy Ameobi

Subs: Rob Elliot, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, Paul Dummett, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Adam Amstrong

Norwich City: John Ruddy, Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong, MartinOlsson, Robert Snodgrass, Leroy Fer, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Gary Hooper

Subs: Mark Bunn, Steven Whittaker, Johan Elmander, Javier Garrido, Luciano Becchio, Nathan Redmond, Alex Tettey