Newcastle United new-boy Moussa Sissoko has revealed that, as a youngster, he dreamt of playing for Arsenal.
The French international midfielder has been a revelation since arriving at St. James’ Park, and scored twice for the Toon less than a fortnight ago in their 3-2 win over Chelsea.
And, whilst the transition to life in the Premier League appears to have been relatively simple for the former Toulouse star, it’s a career with the Gunners that inspired him at an early age.
“When I was little the Arsenal team with all the French players made a mark on me,” he told L’Equipe.
“Pires, Wiltord, Henry, Vieira… That team made me dream. They won everything. I loved Thierry Henry and especially Patrick Vieira, who played the same position as me.
“He had unbelievable power! He ran through the entire pitch with the ball at his feet. In midfield, he was the boss. And then there was Highbury with the fans so close to the pitch. I would have liked to play there!”
Arsene Wenger’s ‘invincibles’ took the English top flight by storm at the turn of the Millennium, winning the title without defeat during the 2003/04 season.
However, times have changed along with the stadium, and Arsenal are yet to win a trophy of any kind sine moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Newcastle United, meanwhile, have also been short of silverware in recent years, and manager Alan Pardew will hope Sissoko can put the Magpies in contention for trophies – starting with the Europa League.