“That was a big influence and a big attraction. As far as the city is concerned, he has told me a lot about that too and I am looking forward to getting to know it. But it is the football I am here for, not other things.” The conversations that Debuchy might have had with boss Alan Pardew in the summer would have been vastly different to those he had on Tuesday, when he was formally introduced to the defender for the first time.
In pre-season, optimism was the theme. Newcastle had Europe, a fifth-placed finish and a campaign of opportunity to look forward to. After dallying on the signing of players like Debuchy, they have been left behind and now look set for a relegation struggle unless results improve quickly.
Add into that the departure of Ba, who left for Chelsea yesterday, and Debuchy is joining a different football club from the one that he was eyeing in the summer.
Not that the defender believes these troubles will last long. He feels he has joined a club where regular European football should be on the agenda – and which should be gunning for the Champions League. “Results (at Newcastle) may not be great at the moment but I am not concerned and that did not influence my decision at all, otherwise I would not be here.
“I am confident in the club and what they are doing and am confident that we can come back and that soon we will be climbing up the table. Newcastle is a big team and we will soon be higher again, back to our true position.
“The Champions League is a target for us of course but the first thing is to get Newcastle back up the table where we belong. That is the priority now. But the Champions League should be the ultimate aim for a club like this.”
After a distressing Christmas, Newcastle needed some good news. Debuchy’s arrival provides the breath of fresh air and renewal of optimism that supporters, fed a thin diet this year, desperately required.
“Everything is in place here,” Debuchy added.
“From the infrastructure to the passion of the fantastic supporters which I saw for myself against Everton. Newcastle have really big players on this team and everything is set up to do well.
“We have got enough quality to improve on where we are. There is absolutely no reason why Newcastle can’t and won’t climb up the table.”