By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Romain Amalfitano admits the French revolution on Tyneside was a key factor in him joining Newcastle United.
The midfielder officially became a Magpie on Sunday, following the expiry of his contract at French Ligue 2 promotion-winning side Stade de Reims.
Amalfitano, aged 22, joins the growing Gallic ranks - including a number of French speakers - on Tyneside. And although he does not know them yet, having seen fellow countrymen like Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Mehdi Abeid, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux flourish at Newcastle made the switch even more attractive.
"The number of French players here already played a part for me in my decision," Amalfitano told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview before he joins up with his teammates for the first time this week.
"It is a great reassurance to know there is a group of French players and French-speaking players here.
"I don't know any of the players here, but am looking forward to getting to know them.
"My main aim this season is to progress and advance in football, which is why a club like Newcastle is perfect for me. That is what I will concentrate on here."
Apart from a few clips on YouTube most Newcastle fans will be unfamiliar with Amalfitano, but rather than sit and outline his own strengths or talk himself up, the player is just keen to impress, learn and let the fans make up their own minds during his first season in English football.
"(Being asked what sort of a player I am) is a complicated question and I don't really like talking about myself like that - I prefer for people to watch me and say what sort of player they think I am," he said.
"But I can play wide on the right or in the centre of midfield, and am quite versatile.
"For this season I'm not sure what will happen, but I want to advance, to progress and to learn as much as possible here."
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