ALAN Pardew believes the arrival of Moussa Sissoko will offer Newcastle’s midfield “energy and drive” after striking a deal for the highly-rated France international.
United have pulled off a major coup by signing the midfielder on a six-and-a-half year deal after reaching an agreement with his club Toulouse. And they have negotiated a fine deal with the Ligue 1 club that sees him join for £1.8million – a fraction of the value that he would have fetched in the open market.
A delighted Pardew said: “This transfer window has proved very productive for us, and Moussa arriving today is a massive plus.
“He will bring drive and energy to the squad, he is a winner and that’s why I’m especially pleased to have him with us.
“What all our signings bring is essential competition for places, and that is great for the remainder of the season.”
The 23-year-old will take the number seven shirt and arrives in January rather than the summer, which was what Newcastle had originally planned.
He admitted that the attraction of playing alongside several of his compatriots was a big motivation.
“I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” he said.
“This is a massive club playing in the best league in the world, and I believe my style of play is suited to the Premier League.
“I have heard lots about how fantastic the Newcastle supporters are and cannot wait to get started.
“I am rising to a new challenge coming here and want to firstly help the team improve this season and then progress after that.”
Meanwhile, Norwich’s former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton always felt Luton Town boss Paul Buckle had the makings of a first-class coach, but is determined not to be a big-name scalp in their FA Cup clash at Carrow Road today.
Buckle played alongside Hughton at Brentford when the former Republic of Ireland defender was coming towards the end of his career. The duo have maintained their friendship since.
Blue Square Premier side Luton pulled off a shock result when they dumped Wolves out 1-0 in the third round.
Hughton, though, has no intentions of going the same way against his one-time team-mate.
“We played together and I followed his career, we have met quite often along the way and kept in contact,” said Hughton.
“Paul was always very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, so it is no surprise to see his path go into manager, so aside from Saturday of course, I wish him all the best.”