A look at Newcastle's new signing Papiss Cisse, can he be another great number nine for the Tynesiders?

Newcastle United’s latest acquisition Papiss Demba Cisse has been awarded the prestigious number nine shirt after his recent arrival from German Bundesliga side Freiberg for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £10 million. The Senegal international faces the daunting task of following in the footsteps of many Tyneside favourites who have worn the shirt, but can the January transfer window’s highest profile signing so far live up to the expectations?
Twenty-six year old Cisse has agreed a long term five-and-half-year deal with the Magpies, after completing his move before jetting off to represent his country in the African Cup of Nations, alongside Newcastle’s top scorer Demba Ba, who has managed to net fifteen times this season in what has been nothing short of a remarkable season for the former West Ham man.
Ba and Cisse, who are already international strike partners, look set to lead Newcastle’s front line for their end of season assault on the European places, a possibility seeming more and more likely for Alan Pardew’s side.
Papiss Cisse was identified by the Newcastle United manager as a long term replacement to the outgoing Andy Carroll back in the summer; however the Senegalese’s price tag lay just out of reach of Pardew, standing at £14million however he was seemingly able to do the deal for a knock-down price in this window.
Cisse, after being awarded the number nine shirt, follows a long list of Newcastle favourites including the likes of Jackie Milburn, Mick Quinn, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and of course Alan Shearer, whose record of most Premier League goals in a calendar year was recently eclipsed by Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie, with the joint total standing at a staggering thirty-eight.

Cisse certainly has huge boots to fill, and this is only added to by his international striker partner’s prolific scoring this season, as well as the associated pressure that comes with wearing what is an iconic shirt to the Newcastle faithful.
However, Cisse certainly has the potential, which is proven by his track record in Germany. Last season he finished second top scorer behind Mario Gomez, with an impressive twenty-two goals, matching Tony Yeboah’s record of most goals scored by an African player in one Bundesliga season. He has also started this season brightly, scoring nine in fifteen appearances for Freiberg whilst his international record also looks promising with seven strikes from twelve appearances for his country.
Before joining Freiberg in 2009 for a mere £1.3 million, Cisse also showed glimmers of his potential at French side Metz, with whom he scored thirty-five times in ninety-five league matches. It is here that Cisse developed his current reputation of being known as a clinical forward, with great strength and athleticism.
Another problem that the new signing may have to face is adapting to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, a stumbling block that many past players have fallen to. Nonetheless, the omens are good for African forwards, most poignantly illustrated by compatriot Demba Ba as well as the form of veteran striker Yakubu at Blackburn.
It is clear Cisse will have to work hard to live up to the hype that surrounds the number nine shirt. However, he certainly possesses the right attributes and a stand out goal scoring record, leading to the enticing possibility of a lean strike partnership with Demba Ba.
By Peter Rutzler