Florian Thauvin could be handed an instant debut for Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Moussa Sissoko struggling to recover from his groin problem.
Thauvin yesterday joined Newcastle from Marseille on a five-year deal to take the Magpies’ summer spending to £50million.
The £13million deal, which saw Remy Cabella go the opposite direction on a season-long loan which could be turned permanent, ends a long search for the winger.
Chief scout Graham Carr has chased the 22-year-old for two years, having first spotted his potential when he was at Bastia.
Moves to Lille and then, controversially, to Marseille followed, with Carr continuing to monitor his progress, and, after having a couple of bids turned down, Newcastle have finally got their man.
“I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” said Thauvin. “I have come from France to a really big club and am very happy to be here.
“It is a big honour to know that Newcastle have been after me for such a long time and that they wanted me that much.
“They have put their trust in me and I am looking forward to playing for the team.”
Thauvin will go straight into the squad for the game against Manchester United on Saturday, and could replace Sissoko – who was withdrawn at half-time against Swansea at the weekend – on the right wing if he doesn’t recover from his groin complaint.
McClaren is looking forward to having the pacy winger at his disposal, and has earmarked him as being vital to the counter-attacking style of play he wants his side to adopt.
He added: “Florian is a player the club have been watching for a long time and I am delighted that we have been able to sign him.
“He is a perfect signing for this club - someone who is young, with great potential and is one of the best young players in Europe.
“He is an exciting, creative talent who can score goals and make assists, and we believe he will have a very bright future at Newcastle.”