Many thought Papiss Cisse's Newcastle United career was up if he produced another barren season at St James' Park this time around. The Senegal striker scored just two Premier League goals last season and looked a shadow of the forward he once was.
But, after recently returning from a long-term knee injury, the 29-year-old has already made his mark for the Magpies this term.
|Team||Pos||Goals||Shots on Target||Goals per shot (%)||Apps||Mins|
|Papiss Demba Cissé||Newcastle||FW||4||5||50.00||3||151|
As Opta stats show, Cisse is Newcastle's top scorer by miles, having taken more shots on target than any of his team-mates in just 151 minutes on-field, as well as scoring from half of his shots.
More importantly, meanwhile, Cisse's goals have won Alan Pardew's side two valuable points all on their own.
As well as the Senegalese striker, ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek recently identified Tim Krul as one of the most important figures in the Magpies' dressing room at the moment.
The Dutchman is cutting a figure of real leadership on Tyneside and his saves, too, have helped his side get results.
If only the rest of Pardew's men were as dedicated and able as the shot stopper...
Newcastle's third star of the season is perhaps a damning indictment of the rest of the Magpies' squad at present.
Indeed, 18-year-old Rolando Aarons has done more in 39 minutes than many of his team-mates have over seven Premier League appearances.
|Team||Pos||Dribbles Won / app||Shots / app||Apps||Mins|
As Opta stats show, the winger averages as many dribbles in his 39 minutes of game time as any of his team-mates, while the same can be said for the amount of shots he has taken on goal.
The quicker Aarons comes back from injury the better for Pardew's side.