Steve McClaren says Emmanuel Riviere "will be like a new signing" when he returns to fitness.
The striker hasn't featured this season because of a knee injury.
Riviere – who had an operation on the problem early in the season – is closing in on a comeback.
McClaren, the club's head coach, is without striker Papiss Cisse, who has a groin injury, and he is keen to take a look at Riviere, signed from Monaco last year.
As it stands, Aleksandar Mitrovic is his only fit out-and-out striker, though forwards Ayoze Perez and Siem de Jong can play up front.
McClaren said: "We have only got one striker at the present moment, Mitrovic.
"Papiss Cisse, we are still waiting to hear on how long he is going to be out; Manu Riviere is back in training, so it's like a new signing for us. He's buzzing around the training field, so that's a plus."
McClaren was speaking ahead of Saturday's game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Riviere scored three goals for United last season.Newcastle, in 18th place, are two points adrift of safety in the Premier League.