EMMANUEL Riviere says he’s left the high life in Monaco behind – so he can have the time of his life playing for Newcastle United.
The striker scored on his debut against Sydney FC in New Zealand on Monday.
And Riviere, signed for £5m earlier this month, is relishing the campaign ahead, having long wanted to play in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old – who played for France at youth level with fellow new signing Remy Cabella – is looking to test himself against the best as he looks to progress for club and country.
“Living in Monaco was a good life – it’s a great place,” Riviere said.
“The sun always shines, but I wanted to come here to feel more pressure when I play. I do have the sea here in Newcastle too!”
Physically-strong Riviere is looking to wreak havoc with his pace.
“I’m a striker who is fast,” he said. “I love to find space and to work for the team too.
“I don’t compare myself to anyone, but I like Thierry Henry – he is my idol – and that is why I came to the Premier League.
“I’ve watched a lot of the Premier League over the years.
“It’s a fantastic league, and I think I can settle in to that. I can play here because I am fast and strong.
“I don’t fear the contract, the physical side of things. I know I will have to work at it because it is a more difficult league to France.”
Remy is looking forward to reprising his partnership up front with Cabella, signed from Montpeller for £7m.
“I played with Remy for France (youth) a number of times, and I like playing with him so much because he gives so many assists for strikers,” said Riviere.
“Remy is like a (Hatem) Ben Arfa and (Yohan) Cabaye together, a mix. He is a very good player.”
Martinique-born Riviere, having seen Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy prosper with France while at United, is confident the move will help him force his way into Didier Deschamps’s plans.
“Playing for France is one of the reasons I moved here,” said Riviere, who will get another run-out on Saturday when Newcastle play Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand’s capital.
“So many French players have been selected for France after moving here, so I am hoping for the same.
“It’s a great club to be noticed, so it’s a very good club for my career.
“It should also be nice to have the French players around to help me settle and adapt.”