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French playmaker believes the Magpies have what it takes to snatch a Champions League spot and hails the form of the Senegalese forward alongside his compatriot, Demba Ba

Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has hailed Papiss Cisse as the best striker he has ever played with after the Senegalese striker notched his third successive Premier League double against Swansea.

The France international has played with an array of talent in the French and English top flights but believes Cisse's goalscoring form makes him the best striker he has ever played with.

"Papiss is showing very good form and if he keeps it going I could probably say he's the best striker I've played with," Ben Arfa told Northern Echo.

"He scored two amazing goals against Swansea. He's just brilliant. He scores a lot of goals and is very good for us. Hopefully, he can continue this form until the end of the season."

The Magpies' winger also had praise for Cisse's strike partner Demba Ba who has taken on a more supportive role since his compatriot's arrival on Tyneside.

Ben Arfa added: "Demba is amazing as well, and he worked very hard on the left [on Friday]. We have two very good strikers and that's why we win.
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"Having two such strikers gives us very good confidence. We know they can score in every game, at any moment."

Newcastle can move into fifth in the league above Chelsea this afternoon with a win or draw against Bolton, albeit temporarily as the Blues play Fulham later,  and Ben Arfa says European qualification is the club's main aim.

"We could qualify for the Champions League," said the Frenchman. "But we have to take it game by game and see where we are at the end of the season.

"If we do we do and if we don't we don't. It's about making sure we get into Europe. If we can get to the Champions League great, but it's important that we focus on one game at a time."

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