By Anthony Marshall
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes he has five new signings on board at St. James' Park, despite only bringing three fresh faces to the Club over the summer.
Midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux have arrived from French outfits Lille and Rennes respectively, while striker Demba Ba has been recruited from West Ham.
But Pardew is equally excited at seeing long-term injury absentees Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling back in action after lengthy spells on the sidelines.
French international forward Ben Arfa has not kicked a ball in anger since breaking his leg at Manchester City last October, and a troublesome knee problem has restricted Gosling to just a couple of minutes of first team action following his arrival a year ago.
So in the manager's eyes the duo are like new additions to his playing staff.
"I am really pleased with the way the squad is taking shape. I'm excited," Pardew told nufc.co.uk this week.
"You could say we've got five new players who we didn't have last year. We've obviously lost Kevin Nolan, but we've gained Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux. And then there is Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling.
"Hatem could be the best signing if he stays fit all year, and we're looking forward to seeing what Dan can do as well. As we kick off, with the exception of a little injury to James Perch, everyone is fit and well which is great news."
Pardew is delighted at Newcastle's dealings in the transfer market so far this summer, and tipped his trio of new recruits to be a big success in the North-East.
"Cabaye is a ball-manoeuvrer, someone who can work the ball and make a pass that has an incisiveness to it," explained the manager.
"He can unlock the door and comes to us full of confidence on the back of winning the league and cup double with Lille.
"Ba is an out-and-out goalscorer, a winner and will certainly give everything he's got. I expect him to get between 15 and 25 goals this year.
"Marveaux has impressed and, because of his contract situation, he didn't play a lot last season, but that means he comes to us fresh. We think there is a lot to come from him.
"He works off the left-hand side as a rule, can play off either foot and will certainly give us competition for Gutierrez and Joey on both flanks. It's really nice options for us.
"The only way the players are good value is if they are a big success for the team, and hopefully they will be, playing at a venue as big as Newcastle."