Squillaci: Let's get physical
Sebastien Squillaci has vowed to embrace the physicality of the Premier League after sealing his dream move to Arsenal.
Manager Arsene Wenger has already predicted the French defender will offer his team "some variation at the back", and Squillaci does not intend to shirk any challenges.
The central defender said: "Yes, I do like the duels. I feel it is one of my qualities and here in England there are many duels and it is good to be able to respond physically."
Squillaci sealed his move from Sevilla yesterday and knows it could take a short time to adjust to the demands of the English game. But he has a reputation as a tough tackler and could provide a throwback for Arsenal to the days of Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Steve Bould, albeit with the benefit of having played in the French and Spanish leagues.
Squillaci said: "I have played in France, I have played in Spain for two years, I have played internationals and in the Champions League, I am 30 and I have a bit of experience.
"Now I am going to discover a new league. I have played against English teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool so I know what to expect. I know it will take some time to adapt to new team-mates and the new game but I hope that it will happen quickly."
As a Monaco player he helped the team reach the Champions League final in 2004, before later moving on to Lyon, then Sevilla and now Arsenal. He won the French league twice with Lyon and last season helped Sevilla win the Spanish cup.
Arsenal have not won a major trophy since 2005, when they landed the FA Cup, but the new arrival hopes to capture silverware and believes it could come in the highly competitive Premier League.
"It is a very difficult league but when you play for Arsenal, you play for titles and cups," he said. "I believe you need ambition because the teams are great in the top flight.
"It is very difficult to be the champions but that is why you need that ambition. Arsenal are a very respected team who qualify every year for the Champions League so why not one day be at the top?"
He has fulfilled a long-held ambition by moving to England, and claims the Premier League just pips the Primera Division in terms of quality.
"I believe it is the best one with the Spanish league just behind," he said. "It is difficult to compare both because I have not played in the English league yet. I believe these two are the best leagues."
Squillaci has signed what Arsenal only describe as a 'long-term' contract, and he said: "I hope I will be able to play for another four or five years. It is true that there are many young players here and to arrive at 30 is unusual.
"But I left France quite late, at 28, to join Sevilla. I played for two years in Spain and now I am playing here. It is an unusual career path but I regret nothing. The most important thing is that it is happening today and I will be playing for Arsenal."