If we had a vote on who was Newcastle’s best player so far this season, we would expect 24-year-old Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote to be high up in the voting.
Cheick Tiote in action on Sunday in 5-1 mauling of Sunderland
Cheick has been in tremendous form for Newcastle all season, and indeed he is so dominant in the center of midfield, it has even allowed manager Chris Hughton to play 4-4-2 in the last two games, and still take full control of central midfield, and of course we won both games at West Ham and at home to Sunderland.
And the fact the lad only cost £3.5M from FC Twente in the summer, makes him another bargain basement buy for the Tyneside club, and he promises to be a real future star for Newcastle.
Not surprisingly Tiote has been compared favourably with Chelsea’s Essien, who is also a combative midfielder, and the 16 times capped Ivory Coast International was answering questions put to him recently by Newcastle fans, and this is what he said when he was told he was being compared to the great Ghana star:
“Obviously, I’m only young, but to be compared to Michael Essien is quite a compliment.” “I’m very proud to be spoken of like that.”
“I’ve always watched Michael Essien as a role model in midfield and one day I hope to be as good as him – or even better!”
With Tiote performing so well in the center of the park for Newcastle we are hoping that Chris will be able to play an attacking formation more often this season, because when Newcastle play 4-4-2, they don’t seem to have many problems scoring goals and have 19 goals in their first 10 league games this season.
Only the top three sides, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United have scored more goals in the Premier League this season.