Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes his new striker Papiss Demba Cisse is the perfect replacement for Andy Carroll after landing the player on a five-and-a-half year deal from German side Freiburg.
The 26-year-old Senegal international will join compatriot Demba Ba in the Magpies strikeforce once the pair return from duty at the African Nations Cup and Pardew admitted he was delighted to get his man.
Pardew told Newcastle’s official website, www.nufc.co.uk: “Ever since Andy Carroll left, Papiss was my first choice in the specific role he has had 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.
“Unfortunately he was out of reach, financially, for us in the summer, but it recently became apparent that Derek Llambias (managing director) and Lee Charnley (club secretary) could do the deal in this window.
“I spoke to Demba about Papiss, and he cannot wait to join up with his team-mate in Newcastle.”
Cisse scored 22 Bundesliga goals last season and has already scored nine goals this term. He will be handed the iconic number nine shirt by the Magpies, but insisted he is not daunted by the prospect of following so many famous names.
Cisse said: “I am aware of the huge importance of the number nine shirt, and when I spoke with the manager he made it very clear how important this shirt is. I will treat it with respect.”
Pardew added: “Our fans know that this shirt brings its own pressures. One of the iconic numbers in world football – the number nine of Newcastle.
“It will be only fair that Papiss is given time to understand the responsibility it brings. As the manager, I wish him all the luck in the world to bring success to himself and this club.”
Pardew had been expected to dip into the transfer market in the transfer market during the winter window, but a central defender was thought to be at the top of his wish-list.