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Friday 19 September 2014

Riviere eyes France call-up

Published 17/07/2014 | 14:18

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Emmanuel Riviere is hoping his move to Newcastle can help him make the France squad

Emmanuel Riviere is hoping Newcastle can help him force his way into the France squad.

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The 24-year-old striker, who completed his move to St James' Park late on Wednesday night, has represented his country at under-21 level, but is determined to follow new club-mates Moussa Sissoko and Remy Cabella into Didier Deschamps' senior squad.

Riviere told nufcTV: "For that too, I signed here. I want to get into the France team.

"I want to adapt quickly to the Premier League because the Premier League is not Ligue 1. Ligue 1 is different.

"I want to work hard to adapt fast to the Premier League and play at Newcastle."

Riviere has been drafted in to plug a sizeable gap left by the departures of loan signings Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong and the out-of-contract Shola Ameobi, and he admits he had no hesitation in accepting Alan Pardew's offer of employment.

He said: "When Newcastle phoned me, I said yes directly because Newcastle is a big club with many fans, with a big manager. I said yes directly.

"It was an easy decision, I made my choice quickly. When I was told Newcastle, I said yes directly."

In an ideal world, Riviere would have spoken to former Toulouse team-mate Sissoko before making his decision, but the midfielder was otherwise occupied at the time.

Riviere said: "No, I didn't speak to him because he was at the World Cup and I didn't want to disturb him because he was concentrating on that.

"But I asked people about Newcastle and everybody told me it's a good club."

Riviere, who will be among the Magpies party which jets out to New Zealand for a week-long trip this weekend, arrived in England hoping to follow in the footsteps of his footballing hero.

"My hero is Thierry Henry," he said. "Thierry Henry is my idol because he is from the French West Indies - me too. He's my hero.

"I am a striker, fast, strong and I score goals. I think my characteristics are good for the Premier League."

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