Steve McClaren stresses the importance of Cheick Tiote for Newcastle United

Cheick Tiote was linked with a move away from Newcastle United in the January transfer window.

Steve McClaren has told the Shields Gazette that Cheick Tiote epitomises what he wants from players in his Newcastle United side.

Tiote was linked with a move to China in January (Shields Gazette), but the transfer broke down.

And McClaren says that he never wanted the Ivorian to leave St. James’ Park, as he will have big part to play over the remainder of the campaign.

“We didn’t want him to leave (for Shanghai),” McClaren said.

“He fights on the field – he genuinely wants the ball. He never gives up, and he epitomises what we want from this team.”

Tiote dropped out of Newcastle’s first team for a portion of the season, but he seems to be firmly a part of McClaren’s plans now.

The 29-year-old has started in Newcastle’s last two matches alongside new signing Jonjo Shelvey to mixed success.

Tiote’s partnership with Shelvey worked effectively against West Bromwich Albion, as Newcastle picked up a comfortable 1-0 victory.

But the duo were exposed against Chelsea in their most recent outing, as the Magpies crashed to a 5-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Tiote still seems likely to keep his place over the coming weeks, though, with Newcastle’s next match coming against Stoke City on March 2nd.

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