Premier League is 'special', says Newcastle's Demba Ba
Newcastle United striker Demba Ba says his love for the Premier League was key to his remaining in England, following West Ham's relegation last season.
The 26-year-old Senegal international joined the Magpies on a free transfer in June, having impressed with seven goals in 13 games for the Hammers.
"I was always excited by English football," Ba told BBC Newcastle.
"I played in Belgium, in France and in Germany, which was very good - but England is very special."
He added: "I love the physical side of football, it reminds of football in Africa."
After emerging from French regional football to sign for Rouen, Ba enjoyed spells with Mouscron and Hoffenheim prior to his switch to West Ham in January this year.
The Paris-born striker's arrival at St James' Park has coincided with the signing of Rennes winger Sylvain Marveaux and Lille midfielder Yohan Cabaye and, along with Hatem Ben Arfa, they form a French-speaking quartet in Alan Pardew's squad.
"At West Ham there were a couple of French players and they helped me get used to the team and the club," Ba said.
"Here it is the same, but the difference here is that the French players here are new, but I don't have much problem fitting into the team.
"I'm very excited about the future here at Newcastle and playing at St James' Park."