Forget Sissoko, this is the star Newcastle must avoid losing

Newcastle Fans 3

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse's future is in doubt.

Newcastle United supporters are used to their higher profile star's futures being speculated about, but the rumours that Papiss Cisse could leave are more worrying than most. 

Cisse has been tipped to leave the Magpies for some time in the Chronicle, with fitness issues seemingly putting an end to his chances with the club.

The experienced front-man has consistently struggled with his knees and he appears incapable of starting on a regular basis. 

Cisse has generally been deployed as a substitute this term, with both Alan Pardew and John Carver considering him an impact player, rather than a permanent fixture in the starting line-up.

The loss of a peripheral squad member would generally not be considered too big an issue, but Cisse's departure from Newcastle would be a serious worry.

The Senegalese striker has scored 11 goals in just 19 games this campaign, making him Newcastle's top scorer, and it is hard to see another regular source of goals in their squad.

The Magpies' next highest scorer, Ayoze Perez, has just five goals to his name and if Cisse does leave the club will surely have to target another forward in the summer transfer window.

Although Cisse's departure would provide them with some money to do this, there is no guarantee that Newcastle would sign anyone who is as clinical as Cisse.

The Magpies purchased Emmanuel Riviere and loaned Facundo Ferreyra in the summer of 2014 to increase their goalscoring threat, but neither have proven worthwhile additions.

It means that if Cisse does leave there will be serious questions asked over their lack of potency up-front and his departure may well be more concerning than any other player's at Newcastle. 

Both Moussa Sissoko and Cheick Tiote, who are amongst the North East side's most high profile stars, have been linked with moves away by the Chronicle in recent times, but the club have cover in midfield which could compensate for the loss of either man.

There is not the same depth to the squad up-front and if Newcastle do decide to sell Cisse, they will need to ensure that they bring in the right striker in the summer, or next season could be even more bleak than this one. 

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch