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McClaren not shocked Arsene Wenger wanted Newcastle signing Florian Thauvin for Arsenal

Florian Thauvin
Florian Thauvin

Steve McClaren says it is no wonder Arsenal were interested in signing Florian Thauvin given the immediate impact he has made on Tyneside.

And he has called on the exciting French forward to keep up his explosive early form against the Gunners today and become a “hero” at Newcastle.

Heroes only come when you get success and we’re trying to create a team which can provide that

STEVE McCLAREN

The £13million signing revealed Arsene Wenger had shown interest in him but it is McClaren who is benefiting, with Thauvin scoring one and creating three goals on his full debut against Northampton.

McClaren has admitted that he still doesn’t know what his best team is but Thauvin is set to be a regular and start his first Premier League match today.

Asked whether it was easy to see why the Londoners were tracking him, McClaren replied: “Yes. Most definitely.

“He has played at every level for France [up to Under 21s]. He has got that pedigree.

“He has potential, but then so do a lot of players.

“If he plays [today] it will be a test for him but he has certainly got the ability and is only 22.

“He needs to do it now on a consistent basis.

“I thought he did very well at Old Trafford and very well on Tuesday.

“We are trying to bring players here who will excite the crowd. We are trying to find new heroes.

“We still have a long way to go to achieve that, but fans are encouraged by what they have seen so far.”

Thauvin was the star of the show in the midweek Capital One Cup win over the Cobblers but McClaren says heroes only come from sides that win regularly.

“The most important thing is to have a winning team,” added McClaren.

“You progress from a team that competes to one that wins, and wins regularly.

“After that you win trophies and you get heroes.

“Heroes only come when you get success and we’re trying to create a team which can provide that.

“We’re in the very early stages of that and I’m still learning about my best players and best system.

“But I want to sit down and watch the team play good football and I want individuals to excite me and get me out of my seat.

“Florian can be one of them.”

Meanwhile, McClaren will make a last minute decision on the fitness of Moussa Sissoko for the Arsenal clash.

The French midfield powerhouse, previously been linked with Arsenal, went off at Swansea City and missed the trip to Man United and the cup win over Northampton.

But he could make his return today, having trained this week.

McClaren said: “He has trained a couple of days with the team, we will just have to weigh up the fitness side of it.”

The head coach has no other fitness concerns, with Papiss Cisse back after missing Tuesday night through illness.