Deadline day signing Federico Fernandez aims to emulate the achievements of countryman, skipper and friend Fabricio Coloccini at Newcastle United
Former skipper Coloccini was the last Argentinean to play for Magpies and is a former international teammate of Fernandez, who completed a £6million switch from Swansea City yesterday.
And Fernandez admits he will give fellow defender Coloccini a call this week to get the lowdown on his new club.
“I am very excited by the challenge. It is good to be back in the Premier League with a very important club with a huge history. I am ready to show my ability,” said the 29-year-old, who could make his United bow this weekend, when Tottenham Hotspur are at St James’s Park.
“I had the opportunity to play with Fabricio with the national team and I know all about the years he spent with this club.
“He was a very good player and I hope I can do it just like him here.
“Maybe I can contact him and he can tell me about the city, the club. In the week I will contact him.”
Having made more than 100 appearances for Swansea in the Premier League, played at a World Cup, in the Champions League and in Serie A, little fazes Fernandez.
In fact, he admits he cannot wait to get started at United - a club he admits he has always known a lot about.
“It felt great,” he said about the move.
“I have been impressed with the stadium. I cannot wait to see the fans.
“When I was in Argentina I knew a lot about Newcastle. They were always in the news.
“When they came in for me I did not have to think twice. I was just wanting to try my best to be here.
“I know this is a very good team with a good spirit. You can see that from the outside.”
As well as the size of the club, a major draw for Fernandez was manager Rafa Benitez.
Player and manager first worked together at Napoli in 2014 and it’s a relationship Fernandez is delighted to rekindle.
“We worked for one year in Naples. We won a trophy, it was a good year,” he said.
“He was the key to the move to Swansea, too. He was the one who told me about the Premier League and the club so it is nice to find a way to work together again now.
“I am really excited to work with him again.
“I learned a lot under Rafa. He believed in me. He knows what I can do for the club, for the team.”