Jan 19, 2012

Introducing Papiss Demba Cisse

Around 9:30pm on the 17th of January 2012, Newcastle United officially confirmed the signing of Papiss Demba Cisse from Bundesliga side Freiberg – the striker moving for a fee reputed to be between £7.5m and £10m and signing the now infamous five and a half year contract. Notably, he will wear the iconic no. 9 shirt.

Despite having made a move for the player in the dying throws of the August window, the move on this occasion caught almost all by surprise – much in the way the Sylvain Marveaux transfer did, with barely six hours separating first notification through the media to the signing being officially confirmed. To paraphase Winston Churchill, once again NUFC’s ‘precious’ transfer ‘truth’ has been ‘attended by a bodyguard of lies’…

Upon signing, Alan Pardew told the official website “Ever since Andy Carroll left, Papiss was my first choice in the specific role he has at the end of the play…  He is a finisher with an already-established CV in the Bundesliga, where we have monitored him for the best part of two years.”

Club career in stats

SeasonClubGames Played (all comps)Goals
2011/12 (so far)SC Freiburg179
2010/11SC Freiburg3222
2009/10SC Freiburg166
2009/10FC Metz168
2008/09FC Metz3715
2007/08Chateauroux (loan)154
2007/08FC Metz90
2006/07FC Metz3212
2005/06Cherbourg (loan)2811
2005/06FC Metz10

*from his transfer to Metz onwards

So what do we get?

“If ever there was a natural candidate for a #9 position in the PL, it’s Cisse.” Raphael Honigstein

With Andy Carroll’s hastily vacated boots having long since been filled by the sometimes unplayable Demba Ba, NUFC have not struggled for goals, but the burden on Ba has been obvious – being accountable for 56% of Newcastle’s goals so far this season.  The addition of Cisse promises to give NUFC both an alternative goal scoring option and the prospect of upping their goal tally.  Indeed, the latter is an addition that could prove invaluable – NUFC’s 30 goals so far this season is a healthy return but it has been submissive to the defensive contributions in keeping NUFC in the unexpected lofty position they find themselves at the time of writing

“The fast, muscular forward has not only perfectly complemented Freiburg’s style with his exceptional work ethic, but he’s also proved to be an expert finisher” Raphael Honigstein  – ‘ Cissé fuels SC Freiburg’s success’

Taking a slight deviation from the current, physically focussed stock of strikers, Papiss should provide more dynamism to the NUFC forward line – his quick turn of pace and intelligent movement in the channels in attack something we lack up front, whilst still maintaining more than enough presence through his 6ft frame.  His relationship and previous international game time along-side Demba Ba should make his transition into life and playing in Newcastle a little easier, along with the sheer number of French speaking players at the club now. However, despite the similarities between the Premier League and Bundesliga, a period of adaption is still expected.

A word of warning though…

“A weakness? Can be petulant. Picks up needless bookings” – Martyn Fisher @bundesliga_wrap

Nine yellows in 34 games last season would tend to support this claim – one to keep an eye on perhaps…

Stats Comparison (this season)

NameApp.GoalsAssistsShots PGAerials WonS/Drib PGOffside PG
Papiss Cisse17923.625/701.52.6
Demba Ba17 (2)1513.228/760.60.9
Leon Best13 (2)421.544/870.71.3
Modibo Maiga10 (2)412.145/960.90.4

Final thoughts

The transfer of Cisse is as clear cut as any NUFC transfer over the last few years.  Whilst the incoming Ba, Santon, Marveaux et al had the undoubted potential to excite the masses on arrival, each individual excitement was tempered by its own respective, and crucial ‘as long as…’  Cisse has signed in good health, good spirits, good form and with no historical injury issues of major note – the question seems to be simply on how he takes, or how long it takes for him to adapt to our style of play and life in England.

Indeed, in a wider context Cisse’s signing lends itself perfectly to a progressive transfer strategy (at least in terms of incomings) we are still coming to understand.  Much like Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote before him, Papiss has undoubted ability and is just about to hit the prime years of his football career as he takes to the St James’ Park stage – and all this for a very reasonable fee…

NUFC is slowly turning into a superb environment and stage for those wanting to prove themselves in the Premier League – long may it continue.

As always, if you want our instant news and (kneejerk) reaction to anything Newcastle United or football related then follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/leazesterrace or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/leazesterrace


  • Good read, I think this cisse fella teamed up with demba are gonna tear some prem defences to shreds in 2nd half of season, with Ba’s ability to drift and link the play and papiss’s willingness to get in behind this has the potential 2 be an explosive partnership. Add to this the fact that both guys can consistanly put the ball in the back of the net, then the toon army have great reason to get excited. If we can sign a CB and keep hold of our top players this january then there is no reason why we cant stay in top 6 or 7, or even challenge the top 4.

  • Re differences to current strikers.

    He is your archetypal “off the shoulder” centre forward (as such gets caught off side a fair bit – most in the BL), so always trying to stretch defences – possibly create space for Ba and or Ben Arfa?

    Someone (sorry can’t remember who) summed him up brilliantly as “Darren Bent with ability”, which aint bad for £10m.

  • I’ve never seen the guy so trying not to get carried away too much. Also, the fear Ashley will pull the rug somehow is lingering. I have a bottle of dog waiting in the frisge for 1st feb just in case he doesnt.

  • Nice and intelligent write-up as usual from you guys, but am just wondering what happened to the Pre-match/Post-Match Analyses? I used to really enjoy these and I hope you find time to do them again.

  • Cheers. We’ve stopped them for now – mainly to concentrate on individual pieces. See the end of this recent post for a bit more explaination.

  • I, like all NUFC fans, am very excited by Papiss Cissé joining the club. He seems to be exactly what is needed up front. I don’t really have anything to add, but I wanted to offer my appreciation of your website as well.

    I also was a fan of the pre- and post-match tactical analysis, but can understand how it became a chore. The individual pieces are also of a high quality and are very much appreciated. Keep up the good work!

  • Totally agree with what everyone else says about the match previews and reviews, but completely understand that when fun becomes work it just ain’t worth it. I really appreciate what you do and you obviously put a lot of thought into it, so please do a piece when you are motivated to do so, and I’ll keep looking out for them.

    Cheers, lads.


  • NUFC blog varying from inane rantings to precision statistical analysis. Alternative match previews & reports plus a broader based (and heavily biased) footballing opinion on anything worthy of annoyance.

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