Arsenal looking to Newcastle Frenchman to cover Wilshere loss

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It used to be that Arsene Wenger was the flag bearer for bringing French footballing talent to these shore, with the Arsenal boss often choosing to sign the youth of his homeland over the burgeoning prospects of any young player from the UK.

However, that characteristic has slid from Wenger’s makeup of late, with the Gunners icon preferring German players these days, and it has been taken up by Newcastle’s Alan Pardew.

The Magpies manager has taken any gusto his north London rival had for signing French, or French-based, players and ran with it, going on a Channel-hopping shopping spree at every opportunity.

Pardew’s propensity for finding gems in Paris and beyond has already brought a cap-doffing sign of respect from Wenger, who signed former Newcastle right-back Mathieu Debuchy from the club last summer, and now needs the former West Ham manager’s help again.

With Jack Wilshere potentially out until March with another ankle injury, Wenger is in need of replenishing his midfield stocks and has Moussa Sissoko as his main target.

With Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby also recently ruled out of action, whether one midfield signing or more are needed to boost the club’s middle band is unclear, but Sissoko would certainly be a start.

Having impressed since joining Pardew’s French revolution in the winter transfer window of the 2012/13 season from Toulouse, Sissoko has bagged seven goals in 59 appearances for the north east club and would fit into Arsenal’s philosophy quite easily.

Able to play centrally or out on the wing, the Frenchman’s dynamism and athleticism could make him the ideal replacement for Wilshere as the English star recovers from yet another setback.

Arsenal are 4/6 to finish in the top four this season following their 1-0 win over West Brom.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.