Moussa Sissoko

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Dedicated follower of fashion Moussa Sissoko has joined Newcastle United after ten years in Toulouse - and believes the club's famous black and white stripes will look good on him.

Not only is the 23-year-old midfielder stylish on the pitch with his smooth, graceful technique but he takes pride in what he wears off it too, spending much of his spare time shopping for new threads.

Since his early teens, he has worn only the violet of Le Téfécé and the blue of France but after signing a six-and-a-half year deal at St. James' Park, he will now wear the number seven shirt for the Magpies.

He had played in the Champions League for his former club but with his contract due to expire next summer, opted to head to the Barclays Premier League to join Alan Pardew's French revolution.

And, in an exclusive first interview with nufc.co.uk, he explained: "It was really important to move on, to take on a new challenge. I've been with Toulouse for ten years now so even though I gave 100 per cent in training and during matches, it was quite a comfortable place for me.

"I was in my comfort zone and I wanted to take on a new challenge and rise to that challenge. And Newcastle is the ideal club for me to be able to go on and do great things.

"At Toulouse I had the luck to play in almost every game but for me it was time to move on to a new challenge - and that new challenge was here in England.

"I've often said that for me it's the best league in the world and it's also a league which corresponds to my style of play, and this is where I really want to take the most pleasure from playing.

"It won't be easy but it's up to me to work hard so I get everything on my side so I can do my best."

That style of play - he is able to play in the holding role or in a more advanced position - has seen him compared in several quarters to former France international Patrick Vieira.

And the Le Blanc-Mensil-born ace admitted: "Of course it's a delight to be compared to someone as great as Vieira.

"He was a fantastic player, he had a fantastic career here in the Premier League so it's fantastic to be compared to someone like him.

Moussa Sissoko

"But if I want to be as good then I'll have to put in some incredible performances in every single match, every week. That's why I can't wait to get out there training so I can quickly settle in so that I can perform 100 per cent and so we can win."

In England, of course, the number seven is considered lucky and at Newcastle - while not quite as prestigious as the famous number nine - it has been worn by some hugely popular players.

Kevin Keegan and Rob Lee are among those to have graced the shirt and Sissoko smiled: "If the number seven is indeed lucky then good for me!

"I hope it will bring me good luck from the first match. The reason I took seven is because that was the number that was available. I wore 22 at Toulouse so I would have liked to take that but for me the number isn't a priority. It's not important; what is important is what happens on the pitch.

"So I'm happy to have number seven but my priority is to be good on the pitch."

While he claims not to be too concerned with the number on his back, he admits that he is fussy about what he wears. But the sartorialist star has given Newcastle's Puma kit the thumbs up.

"I love to wear nice, fashionable clothes," Sissoko said. "It's important for me. I like to go and buy nice clothes but I don't do it for others - it's for me.

"I like it, it makes me feel good so I do it for myself. That's the way I live. If it makes other people happy then that's even better.

"With the black and white shirt, I think it will match me perfectly. And you'll see a really handsome Sissoko on the pitch!"

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Sissoko's name and number on the back