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Over-used Mertesacker in need of rest

Arsenal
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Anita targeting top four

Newcastle manager prioritising Premier League over potential European adventures.

Newcastle United midfielder Vurnon Anita says the club is aiming for Champions League qualification.

• Newcastle sign Anita

Anita, 23, joined the Magpies from Ajax this week in a deal rumoured to be worth over £6 million and he believes the squad is in a position to challenge for the top four.

"The philosophy of the club and everything about it is great," Anita told the Evening Chronicle. "The main aim is to get into the Champions League and of course win cups.

"There are great players here like Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa and I can learn from them. They can learn from me too. It is only good for the team."

Alan Pardew's men are gearing up for the first leg of their Europa League qualifier against FC Atromitos of Greece on Thursday, and Anita is determined to enjoy a successful run in the competition.

"I watched what they did last season from in Holland," he said. "It was a great achievement by all of the players. They performed very well. This year, though, we must improve on that. I hope we can make the group stages.This is a very important week for us."

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