Jamel Saihi is the exact sort of player Alan Pardew should be looking at to add to the depth at Newcastle United this summer.
He’s predominantly a defensive midfield player and someone who is ranked as one of the most aggressive players in French football having accumulated five yellow cards and two red cards for Montpellier.
Cheick Tiote has had an inconsistent season, which means Pardew could be looking to utilise his expert knowledge of the French transfer market to bring someone in who can release the more creative players in the side.
Put him in the defensive third in front of the Newcastle goal posts and he’ll pick off attacking runs from the opposition all day long, which reduces the need from the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa to track back.
He’s quick enough and agile enough that he can fill in for defensive players who are out of position, which means Newcastle can always send their big guns up for set pieces which is a large part of the way the team plays.
It’s not sheer recklessness as his disciplinary record suggests, he’s just a very aggressive player who likes to get stuck in which is something Newcastle lack, especially when Tiote is not in the team.
He’s only hit the back of the football net on one occasion for his club but he’s not an attack minded player.
He would be in the side to protect the back four, which is significant considering the fact Fabricio Coloccini could leave the club this summer, which leaves the defensive side of Newcastle’s game exposed.
He’s only 26-years-old which is also something which should appeal to Newcastle because he’s at an age where he can still learn and develop.
He has three-years left to run on his current deal at Montpellier but Pardew is one of the best in the business when it comes to haggling over transfer fees with Ligue 1 clubs.
He’s already proven himself to be a very effective manager in the French transfer market buying Cabaye in an original deal for under £5 million, Mathieu Debuchy for just over £5 million and Moussa Sissoko for under £2 million.
These are all quality players who have joined from top French clubs, proving that if Pardew wants a certain player from France he tends to get who he wants.
Unfortunately, that information means Newcastle will have to pay a decent fee for him but he’s a player that can fully justify that price tag and he’s well worth the club taking a risk on.