Senegal striker Papiss Cisse arrived at Newcastle during the January transfer window for a fee in the region of £10 million. However, you you be forgiven if you didn’t know much about 26-year-old international strike partner of current Magpies top goalscorer Demba Ba.
Whether you knew about him or not, Cisse announced himself on his debut with a spectacular strike against Aston Villa on 5 February which proved to be the winner.
Here, we’ll look at the player’s career so far:
After playing football in his native Senegal during his teenage years, a 20-year-old Cisse joined FC Metz in Ligue One in the summer of 2005. After spending just one month and making a single appearance for the club, he was sent out on loan to AS Cherbourg who play in the third tier of French football.
His time at the Normandy club was successful and he made 28 league appearances, scoring 11 goals. That season Metz were relegated to Ligue Two and Cisse played a prominent role in the club’s 2006-07 season. He scored 12 goals in 32 appearance as Metz made an instant return to Ligue One.
However, he found life in Ligue One difficult and after nine appearances with no goals, was sent out on loan again. This time it was to Ligue Two outfit LB Chateroux where he scored four goals in 15 appearances.
He returned to Metz for a third time ahead of the 2008-09 season where again the club found themselves in Ligue Two. Again, Cisse was the first-choice to play in the second tier and he scored 15 goals in 37 appearances – his best to date.
During the summer of 2009, Cisse scored one goal and assisted with another during a 2-1 friendly win against Bundesliga side SC Freiburg. Cisse scored eight goals in 16 appearances, again in Ligue Two but joined Freiburg in December 2009 for approximately £1.32 million. He played out the remainder of the 2009-10 season and scored six goals in 16 league appearances.
The 2010-11 season saw his stock rise significantly. Cisse scored 22 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances for a side that ended the season in ninth place and finished second in the top goalscorer charts behind 28-goal Mario Gomez of Bayern Munich.
Cisse’s goalscoring exploits set two new records: the most goals scored in a single season by a Freiburg player and also the most goals scored in the Bundesliga by an African player. The previous record was held for almost 20 years by former Leeds United striker Tony Yeboah, who scored 20 at Eintracht Frankfurt in 1993.
Cisse continued his good form this season, scoring nine goals in 17 Bundesliga matches before joining Newcastle United in January 2012. He was given the hallowed number nine shirt, previously worn by Magpies legends such as Hughie Gallacher, Malcolm McDonald, Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer.
Of course, wearing that shirt brings with it added pressure but you would not have known it when Cisse made his debut against Aston Villa. An early injury to Leon Best saw Cisse come off the bench to team up with Demba Ba. Punters who used a free bets site to get some money down on the “anytime goalscorer” market were cheering when he struck the winning goal after 71 minutes.
Cisse looks a very exciting prospect. He has scored goals in both France and Germany and looks set to do the same in England. He has also been prolific at international level, scoring 10 goals in 17 appearances for Senegal. He knows Ba well from his time playing for his country and they could forge a fearsome strike partnership in the Premier League.