Thauvin ready for tough start
Newcastle's new signing Florian Thauvin has shrugged off his £13million price-tag as he prepares for the challenge of proving himself in the Barclays Premier League.
The 22-year-old winger, who completed his move from Marseille to Tyneside on Wednesday, could be thrown in at the deep end at Manchester United on Saturday, but is relishing the task of justifying the Magpies' investment in him.
Thauvin said: "It's not a problem for me to have such a high price-tag. I'm a footballer, and that's my passion and my job.
"It's always been my dream to be a footballer in the Premier League, and I'm happy to be here and do that.
"The Premier League is well known for being a very physical league. It's a bit different to France. It's not something that concerns me, although maybe I'll have to take a bit of time to get used to it. Once I do, I'll be fine."
Steve McClaren's men head for Old Trafford having allowed the positives from an encouraging opening-day display against Southampton to dissipate with a poor performance in defeat at Swansea last weekend, and the head coach will be looking for a significant response.
Thauvin has been at his new club for just a matter of days, but he insists he is ready to play.
He said: "Of course, it's a magnificent stadium, a magnificent ground and they are a massive team too in the Premier League, so it's always an honour and a pleasure to be able to play in such places.
"I did pre-season at Marseille, played in all the friendly games - I even started the season out there, so if the coach needs me, I am there."
Newcastle had chased France Under-21 Thauvin for more than two years, although he revealed there was a time when he might have ended up at Arsenal instead.
He said: "Two or three seasons ago, Arsene Wenger perhaps made an approach with Arsenal, but apart from Arsenal, Newcastle are the only other club who have made an approach for me in the past."