Newcastle United signing Florian Thauvin says he could have made his move to the Premier League years ago after being approached by Arsenal. The 22-year-old signed for the Magpies on a five-year deal on Wednesday 19 August from Marseille, with Remy Cabella moving to the French giants on an initial one-year loan deal as part of the deal.
The France Under-21 international rose to prominence in his homeland during the 2012-13 season while playing for Bastia, earning the Ligue 1 young player of the year award. That following summer, he found himself linked with a move to the Gunners and Thauvin has since revealed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was the only Premier League boss to reach out to him prior to his arrival on Tyneside.
"Two or three seasons ago, Arsene Wenger perhaps made an approach with Arsenal," Thauvin said, the Daily Mail reports. "But apart from Arsenal, Newcastle are the only other club who have an approach for me in the past."
Newcastle have spent £12m on bringing the French youngster St James' Park, according to BBC Sport, their third significant attacking addition following the arrivals of Netherlands international Georginio Wijnaldum and Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. He could be thrown in the deep end against Manchester United for his debut on Saturday 22 August but is not fazed by the prospect of making his first appearance in English football away at Old Trafford.
"I am very happy to be here at Newcastle," he said. "And I am surprised in a very good way to see such a well-organised club here. I had my first training session with the team today and it went really, really well. I am fit and available, and if the manager chooses to select me, I cannot wait to make my debut at Old Trafford."