Newcastle’s new signing Henri Saivet says that ever since playing for Bordeaux at St James Park in the Europa League, he ‘always hoped to one day play here in Newcastle’s colours’.
Saivet and Bordeaux lost 3-0 that night, with Cisse, Shola and an own goal settling the match.
However, in the group match in Bordeaux, Saivet once again played the full 90 minutes and the French club won 2-0.
Henri Saivet already knows the likes of Gouffran and Obertan from his days at Bordeaux, as well as Papiss Cisse from international duty with Senegal and a number of Newcastle’s other French players who he played with at Under 21 level with France, before deciding on Senegal.
The midfielder claims to have been following Newcastle’s fortunes closely and watched many of the games.
obviously well briefed by Steve McClaren beforehand, Saivet says that United have been very unlucky and don’t deserve to be in the relegation zone.
Asked to describe himself, Henri Saivet says that he is a winner – let’s hope it’s catching when he starts training and playing with his new team-mates.
Henri Saivet giving his first interview after signing to NUFC TV:
“Very happy to be here, really proud to be able to play for this team. I’m really excited and can’t wait to get started with my new team-mates.
‘You played at St James Park for Bordeaux, what were your impressions?’
“Really impressed by the ground, in France there is nothing that quite compares to that. It was a really wonderful experience for me to have played there, even if we didn’t win.
“I always hoped to one day play here in Newcastle’s colours.”
‘You must know some of the current squad?’
“Yes, I know Yoan Gouffran well, we played three or four seasons together. I was trained as well round about the same time as Gabriel Obertan, so I know him well. Of course the other French players I played at under 21 level together and of course Papiss Cisse played with for Senegal.”
‘What have they told you about Newcastle?’
“I already knew the club from following it in France but it is different when you see it from the outside compared to the inside. Newcastle is a massive club, the fans create a fantastic atmosphere every week and I had to make sure it was something that happened – to come and play at Newcastle, just to witness the atmosphere and ambience the fans create.”
‘How would you describe yourself as a player?’
“I am somebody who likes to have the ball at my feet, play football, try to bring everybody into the game, so mainly to get the ball and give good passes to the forward players to score goals.”
‘You started as an attacking player but you have played more of a defensive role recently?’
“I started out right side, left side, (attacking) central midfield and being more defensive was always a position that caught my eye. You are at the start of the attack, you have to create from scratch and this year they (Bordeaux) gave me a chance to play in that role and I loved it.
“It really suited me well and I hope coming here to Newcastle I will have a chance to really express myself and do great things in that position.”
‘What kind of person are you?’
“I’m quite calm, quite laid back, at Bordeaux everybody said I was the quiet strong one.
“I’m a little bit shy but on the pitch it is different, I want to win whether it is training or in a match. I’m a winner and that’s the mentality I have, the mentality of a winner.”
‘In a relegation battle here at Newcastle?’
“I know we are in a difficult situation at the moment but I hope I can bring a little extra that has perhaps been lacking this season.
“I have watched a lot of Newcastle’s games and I think they have been unlucky – I think we haven’t played badly. I’m happy to come here and I’m convinced and I hope that we will climb up the Premier League and be where we deserve to be.”
‘Possible you could be involved against Manchester United?’
“It would be great if I could make my debut against Manchester United. I’m not sure I will be playing but I’m going to make sure I’m prepared for the game at the weekend (West Ham) when I hope I’ll have a chance of playing.
“If I am there tomorrow and we win, then perhaps I have brought a little bit of luck with me and hopefully I can watch Newcastle win and climb the table – I think there is a lot of potential in this group.”