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Cissé ready to impress

Published: Tuesday 20 July 2004, 13.59CET
Djibril Cissé may make his Liverpool FC debut on Wednesday after completing his move from AJ Auxerre.

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Published: Tuesday 20 July 2004, 13.59CET

Cissé ready to impress

Djibril Cissé may make his Liverpool FC debut on Wednesday after completing his move from AJ Auxerre.
Striker Djibril Cissé is expected to make his Liverpool FC debut on Wednesday to the relief of the French international after the completion of his long-awaited move from AJ Auxerre.

'Long wait'
"It has been a long wait for me to join Liverpool," Cissé said. "It has been talked of for over a year, maybe two. But in France we say that if it takes a long time for something to happen, it is sometimes much better when it does happen."

Wrexham test
Cissé, who arrived at Anfield on Tuesday in a club record €21m deal, is likely to be thrown straight into the action in a friendly away to Wrexham AFC, and the 22-year-old is looking forward to the challenge.

'Added pressure'
"I am aware it is a high sum Liverpool paid for me and that brings added pressure, but I will try very hard to prove myself," he said. "I know I cannot afford to do badly, the pressure is on, but I accept that. I will do my best."

Houllier exit
The departure of former manager Gérard Houllier, who convinced the player to join Liverpool, has only added to Cissé's resolve to prove himself away from his native France.

'Food for thought'
"When Gérard Houllier left I did have some food for thought because he was someone I thought a lot of, but I was determined to complete the move and to show what I was worth," Cissé said. "It is up to me to prove my value to the team with or without Gérard Houllier being here."

'Best forward line'
Good news certainly for Houllier's replacement, Rafael Benítez. He said: "In Cissé we have signed a very good player. He is very fast, he scores a lot of goals and he also makes chances for others. Following his arrival I think we have the best forward line in the Premiership."

Battle ahead
With strikers Michael Owen, Milan Baroš and Florent Sinama Pongolle all competing for places, Cissé, who scored 70 goals in 128 games for Auxerre, has a battle on his hands. It is one he is determined to win.

'Top strikers'
"There are other top strikers here and we all want the same thing," he said. "Michael has played in two [FIFA] World Cups and done great things for club and country while Milan was top scorer at [UEFA] EURO 2004™. We are all working hard to get into the team and to impress the manager."

Last updated: 21/07/04 15.47CET

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