By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger has hailed Newcastle’s success in bringing some of the best young players from around Europe to the Premier League.

The north-east club have raided France in recent years to sign the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux.

Wenger’s knowledge of the French game is second to none, and he has been hugely impressed by Newcastle’s work in Ligue 1 and across the continent.

“They look like they know the French market very well,” he said. “They have made some very good buys [in France and around Europe].

“Marveaux for example, had a good game at Manchester United. Demba Ba, Cisse, Cabaye and Ben Arfa - they have bought very well. Since [Alan Pardew] has arrived there, they’ve built a good team.

“Cisse is a typical goal-getter and Demba Ba has great power. You feel there is a good understanding there as well. They both come from Senegal and play together in the national team so there’s a good friendship as well, that makes them stronger.”

Arsenal host Newcastle on Saturday, and Wenger is wary of the threat posed by Pardew’s side after their good showing at Manchester United on Boxing Day.

“They always looked dangerous going forward, and only lost in the last minute in a game that they could have won as well,” he said.

“They made Manchester United look vulnerable defensively. I expect us to have a good defensive performance without forgetting to play our usual game going forward.”

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28 Dec 2012