Newcastle line up move for highly-rated French youngster - could Arsenal's loss be Magpies' gain?

St James Park

Newcastle United are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Rennes winger Paul-Georges Ntep, who was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal

Newcastle United struggled massively in the second half of last season as the sale of key midfielder Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain severely damaged the team. Manager Alan Pardew subsequently came under huge pressure, but was given the summer to try and replenish his squad with the signings of Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Remy Cabella, Siem De Jong, Emmanuel Riviere, Facundo Ferreyra and Ayoze Perez.

However, the form from last season has carried into this season too, with just four points and no wins from the first seven games of the season. Magpies fans are adamant that Pardew leaves his job, with demonstrations and protests already ongoing at St. James' Park in a bid to force Mike Ashley into sacking Pardew.

It's not hard to see where Newcastle's problems have been this season; in front of goal. New signings Cabella, De Jong and Riviere have all failed to score this season, leaving Pardew to turn to fringe players such as Papiss Cisse, Gabriel Obertan and Sami Ameobi in a bid to generate some attacking momentum.

That almost worked against Swansea City in their last game, but it's imperative that Pardew - or whoever is in charge in January - brings in attacking talent to help turn the club around, and rumours are already suggesting that a move to sign Rennes winger Paul-Georges Ntep could be on the cards.

The 22-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal this time last year, but ended up leaving Auxerre for Rennes, staying in France in the process. With blistering pace and great dribbling ability, Ntep is always a threat to defences, and has hit nine goals in just 19 appearances for Rennes since signing.

With eight goals in 12 games for the French Under-21 side too, it's clear that Ntep has talent - and with the recent signings of Massadio Haidara, Moussa Sissoko, Cabella and Riviere, Newcastle aren't afraid to take a chance on players in Ligue 1.

If he lives up to his potential, then Newcastle could make Arsenal look foolish for passing on the opportunity to sign Ntep.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch