Newcastle United legend Malcolm Macdonald believes the secret to Papiss Cisse regaining his form is starting his runs from deeper.
The centre-forward, currently preparing for Senegal’s World Cup qualifying play-off against Ivory Coast in neutral Casablanca, thinks opponents have spotted a weakness in Cisse’s game which he must now work on.
Cisse’s only goal this season came against Championship side Leeds United and he has scored just five Premier League goals all year.
As a result he has been in and out of the side this season, with manager Alan Pardew preferring Loic Remy and Shola Ameobi for back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Macdonald, one of the club’s great No.9s of the past, thinks Cisse could learn from Frenchman Remy’s movement.
“Remy’s doing exceedingly well, he’s very quick and he gets his timing right,” he said in an interview with Sports Direct News.
“I just wish Papiss Cisse would take notice of what Loic Remy does because Cisse doesn’t understand the offside rule and how to work it as a forward. Until he does he’s not going to be worth anything to Newcastle United at all because other sides have seen his weakness and now play on it.
“Either he’s got to come 10, 15 or even 20 yards onside or the opposition will keep playing him into an offside trap.”
If both strikers continue their early-season form, Newcastle could be faced with a difficult decision in the transfer market as reports in Italy claim Lazio are preparing a move for Bafetimbi Gomis.
With seven goals in nine games for them, the Magpies will be keen to make Remy’s loan move from Queens Park Rangers permanent.
But there is no clause which will do that automatically, with Pardew admitting the situation is “complicated”. The rape allegations hanging over the France international only add to the uncertainty.
It leaves Newcastle vulnerable to other clubs moving in with a bigger offer for one of the Premier League’s most prolific strikers this year, as Pardew has admitted.
The logical solution would be to move for Gomis on a free transfer next summer, but Corriere dello Sport has suggested Serie A club Lazio are looking to tie up a deal before then. Germany forward Miroslav Klose is expected to leave at the end of the season, possibly for America’s Major League Soccer. Lazio may therefore try to steal a march on Newcastle by signing Gomis in January at a cut price.
The Magpies thought they would be able to sign Gomis last summer, but were unable to agree a fee with Lyon, who were unhappy at their interest. That would not be a worry if he is still there at the end of this season, by which time he will be out of contract and Newcastle will not have to negotiate with his club.
Reports from Italy also suggest AC Milan will consider a move for Davide Santon if, as expected, right-back Ignazio Abate joins PSG.
Milan have long been admirers of 22-year-old Santon, who Newcastle signed from Inter, but have found him out of their price range. Cash from oil-rich PSG could change that.
Santon has been a regular at left-back for Newcastle this season but is right-footed, and has already put his name forward to deputise for regular right-back Mathieu Debuchy at home to Norwich City.
The France defender will miss the visit of Chris Hughton’s men after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season during Sunday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Santon is settled in Newcastle, where his first child, daughter Sienna, was born in May, although moving to his homeland would increase his Italy chances in a World Cup season. Santon is not involved in his nation’s upcoming friendlies.
Newcastle will be hoping this latest talk of Milan interest again comes to nothing.