NEWCASTLE UNITED new boy Mathieu Debuchy insists he is not worried by the club's current position in the Premier League and believes it is only a matter of time before they return to form.
Nine months after a potential move was first muted, Debuchy finally secured a £5.5million move to Tyneside yesterday, signing a five-and-a-half-year deal.
The Magpies initially tried to sign the France international in the summer, but decided to back down after Lille upped their asking price on two separate occasions.
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Back then, Debuchy would have been joining a team high on confidence after finishing fifth in the Premier League and securing a Europa League place, but a disappointing first half of the season sees Newcastle sit 16th in the table and two points above the relegation zone.
That might have been enough to change a potential signing's mind, but the 27-year-old insists he is not concerned by their form and believes a Champions League place should be targeted in the coming years.
"Results (at Newcastle) may not be great at the moment but I am not concerned and that did not influence my decision at all, otherwise I would not be here," said Debuchy, who will wear the number 26 shirt.
"I am confident in the club and what they are doing and am confident that we can come back and that soon we will be climbing up the table. "Newcastle is a big team and we will soon be higher again, back to our true position.
"We have got enough quality to improve on where we are. There is absolutely no reason why Newcastle can't and won't climb up the table.
"The Champions League is a target for us of course but the first thing is to get Newcastle back up the table where we belong. That is the priority now. But the Champions League should be the ultimate aim for a club like this."
Debuchy has had to fight tooth and nail to seal his move to St James' Park and having watched his chances of a summer move go up in smoke, the right-back admits the last six months at Lille have been difficult.
He said: "Ever since the summer, I have wanted to join Newcastle. Unfortunately, it couldn't happen then. But now it is done and here I am. I am very happy.
"I always hoped that this day would happen and that I would join Newcastle. I never gave up hope. And if it was not this winter, then I wanted it to happen in the summer.
"It was awkward (staying at Lille). I had made no secret of the fact I wanted to join Newcastle and it was certainly difficult for me when the transfer did not take place.
"I was really keen to come here and when it did not happen, it made things tough. Once the decision had been made, I just had to get on with it and concentrate on giving my best for Lille."
Debuchy's name was first mentioned in connection with Newcastle by France team-mate Yohan Cabaye, who named the defender as a player he would like to see join him at the club in an interview last year.
The pair are close friends having played together as youngsters in France and Debuchy revealed Cabaye's influence has been a big reason behind his desire to join the Magpies.
"My relationship with Yohan, it's true, goes back a long, long time to when we first played together as kids," he explained. "He has been a big help and I will be living with him here until I get myself sorted out.
"It's a real plus that he is here and hopefully, he will help me settle quicker. Yohan and I have spoken a lot about Newcastle. It has been a regular topic of conversation, particularly during the Euros.
"We were together for three weeks and he talked about the club all the time. He just told me that Newcastle was the best, that not only was it one of the best teams in the division but away from the playing side, there was a fantastic infrastructure and great support.
"That was a big influence and a big attraction. As far as the city is concerned, he has told me a lot about that too and I am looking forward to getting to know it. But it is the football I am here for, not other things."