How different would life be for Newcastle if Papiss Cisse could stay consistently fit?

The Newcastle United striker could have been the answer to all their problems - were it not for his dodgy knees.

Newcastle's search for a new striker is an oddity. According to the Chronicle, Steve McClaren's side are in hot pursuit of Aleksandar Mitrovic, with Bas Dost their backup option

But the funny thing is Newcastle already have a very clinical goalscorer indeed. It's just that he can't stay fit.

Indeed, Papiss Cisse has been so efficient in front of goal at St James' Park, it is simply a curse that he hasn't been able to play more frequently. Life could have been so different for the Tyneside outfit had he been able to keep injury-free over the last two seasons - while it could save Mike Ashley and co millions this summer.

Instead, Cisse has been linked with a move away from Newcastle, although McClaren's recent comments suggest he could still stay

 2013-15 GoalsMinutes Per GoalMinutes Played
Papiss Demba Cissé 13 195 2,535
Yoan Gouffran 8 573.63 4,589
Ayoze Pérez 7 338.43 2,369
Moussa Sissoko 7 866.57 6,066
Jack Colback 4 782.25 3,129

As Opta stats show, Cisse has scored 13 goals over the last two Premier League seasons. It's a low tally but it's more than any other Newcastle player during that time (except for Loic Remy during his loan period at St James' Park).

But just look at Cisse's total minutes played. In one campaign on Tyneside, Ayoze Perez spent virtually the same amount of time on the pitch as the Senegalese striker did in two, while Jack Colback played more in his solitary season at Newcastle to date.

Considering Cisse's minutes per goal ratio, meanwhile, the 30-year-old could end up with a seriously impressive tally should he actually stay fit for a whole campaign. As it is, though, Cisse may end up leaving the Magpies - or simply playing a bit-part role, like he has done over the past two seasons. The curse of the dodgy knees.

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