Sissoko links himself to Arsenal as he asks to leave Newcastle

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Sissoko believes playing in the Championship would be below him
Sissoko believes playing in the Championship would be below him

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko has claimed he wants to make a move to Arsenal this summer, although it is not clear whether the Gunners have any interest in signing the French international.

Sissoko was unable to halt Newcastle’s slide into the Championship after a miserable season ended in despair, with his club making it clear that they are keen to keep hold of a player who has not always shown the consistency required to perform at the highest level in the Premier League.

Yet Sissoko clearly believes he deserves to be on a bigger stage, as he suggested with these comments to Foot Mercato.

“Arsenal is one of the best European teams. To be watched by that sort of club, that proves that you are a quality player. It is very flattering,” stated Sissoko.

“Everyone knows, I often said it when I was young, Arsenal is the club of my heart, because there were quite a few French players there like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira who was my idol.

"The beautiful Arsenal. We will see. I cannot tell you if I am going to go to Arsenal. For the moment, I am focused on the French national team and the Euros."

These final comments may not be well received by Newcastle supporters, with Sissoko suggesting he is too good a player to follow the club and their manager Rafa Benitez by playing in the Championship next season.

"I have reached a level where playing in the Championship would be difficult for me,” he added.

“I need to continue to evolve. I aspire to play for the greatest European clubs and to continue with the French national team.

"There will be discussions. I hope that they go in the right direction. I want to leave. I would like to continue my career in England, in a club that plays Champions League football."

Despite Newcastle’s woes this season, Sissoko made it into the France squad for Euro 2016 and he will be keen to prove he is as good as he clearly believes himself to be over the course of the tournament.