Newcastle United today completed the signing of 22-year old Romain Amalfitano from newly-promoted Stade de Reims on a free transfer, tying him to a 4-year contract. The French midfielder flew into town on Tuesday and completed a medical on Wednesday to finalise the deal.
After previous spells at Châteauroux and Evian TG FC, Amalfitano made 58 league appearances for Reims in Ligue 2, scoring 6 goals. In the process he helped his old club secure 2nd place last season and with it promotion back to Ligue 1. He becomes Newcastle’s 6th French signing in the last two years, after the club decided to advantage of the player’s contract ending at the end of June, after which he will officially join.
An ecstatic Amalfitano told the club’s official website:
“I am very happy to be a Newcastle player.
I have seen a bit of the city already and it is a change from France but one I am really looking forward to.
“When a club like Newcastle wants you to play for them it can only be a good thing. I have taken the opportunity to play in the Premier League and cannot wait to get going.”
Unlike the club’s recent captures, this one comes as no shock as Newcastle fans have been quietly confident that this deal was in the bag months ago. Still, it is encouraging that Newcastle have not waited too long to secure their first summer signing. Once again, it is a testament to the club’s scouting network, headed by Graham Carr, that due to extensive deliberation and observation we have been able to identify our targets and move in quickly once the time is right.
Amalfitano is an attacking-minded central midfielder who likes to get forward and can score goals Judging from the couple of YouTube videos I have seen of him, he has great technique and a bit of pace too! I would expect him to provide decent competition in central midfield but don’t see him displacing either Cabaye or Tiote. So unless we play a regular 4-3-3, I think he will be more of an impact player for us next season. Whatever his role in the immediate future, he is certainly at the right club to develop, surrounded by compatriots and other French-speaking players. Maybe he can even surpass his brother Morgan, five years his senior, who plays for Marseille and the French national team.
Despite the securing of Amalfitano, It is a case of one in, one out for Newcastle given the impending departure of Danny Guthrie. Therefore, if we are to challenge effectively on four fronts, I would expect at least one more central midfielder to sign before the start of next season. I’m looking forward to an exciting summer ahead.
Click here for Amalfitano’s official Ligue 2 stats and below is a video showcasing his goals for Reims: