By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew believes Newcastle United have landed another "top-class" central midfielder in Vurnon Anita.
The Dutch international arrived on Tyneside on Thursday and should go straight into contention for a place in the Magpies' squad as their Premier League season kicks off this Saturday at home to Tottenham Hotspur (5.30pm kick-off).
Pardew believes Anita will complement Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in the heart of the team, and was delighted to have secured his signature from a team who will be competing in the Champions League.
"It's pleasing," said the boss.
"Ajax are a fantastic club and to take a player out of there is difficult, especially one of their better players. So I thank Mike (Ashley) and the board for getting that over the line, because we needed an extra player.
"He has strengthened us. We lost Danny Guthrie on a free transfer and at this level you need three top class central midfield players, which we now have. That is mainly where he will play."
Anita put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Club, and Pardew insists the 23-year-old will be such a success in the black and white stripes that he will have added to his three senior Dutch caps by the end of the coming season.
"There's no point in having long contracts if you aren't good enough," explained Pardew.
"But we are confident that Vurnon will be a big success for us. That length of contract comes with a lot of scouting and a lot of background, which we have done.
"And I can tell you he's a number one character - right at the top of the tree for that - and hopefully his ability can flourish in what is a good side.
"I said to him that we are a great platform.
"If you look at (Yohan) Cabaye since he's been here, he is now an established French international who looks comfortable in the shirt.
"(Hatem) Ben Arfa broke into the French side as well, and it would be nice to see Vurnon at the end of the year being a regular in the Dutch side, through the profile and platform we can give him."