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Newcastle new boy: I used to dream of Arsenal

Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
10:13 AM

Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko has revealed that he dreamt of playing for Arsenal as a youngster.

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The France international has landed on his feet in the Premier League following his January arrival at St James’ Park from Toulouse and scored twice in the Magpies’ dramatic 3-2 win over Chelsea.

Sissoko, 23, is one of a growing group of French players at Alan Pardew’s side and says he was inspired by compatriots Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, who enjoyed great success at Arsenal earlier in Arsene Wenger’s reign.

Sissoko told L’Equipe: “When I was little the Arsenal team with all the French players made a mark on me.

“Pires, [Sylvain] 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.”

He added: “And then there was Highbury with the fans so close to the pitch. I would have liked to play there!”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.