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Goal.com names the top three stand-out performers for the Magpies in 2011-12 and then declares the overall winner. Have your say below

Having gone from Championship candidates to Champions League contenders, Newcastle United have been the surprise package of the Premier League season.

The Magpies were tipped by many observers to be relegated following a tumultuous summer, but manager Alan Pardew has overseen a remarkable upturn in fortunes.

When Pardew bade farewell to three key players last summer in the shape of Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique, the outlook seemed gloomy.

Thanks to new arrivals like Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye, as well as Papiss Cisse, during the January transfer window, Newcastle have remained in the upper reaches of the Premier League all season and are nicely poised to end in a Champions League spot after their 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

However, it is not just the new boys who have been instrumental in the club’s upward mobility. Skipper Fabricio Coloccini and goalkeeper Tim Krul have also played key roles as has a rejuvenated Hatem Ben Arfa.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal.com's three nominees for Newcastle’s player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions. We then cast our vote at the bottom before leaving it up to you, the readers, to have your say.

DEMBA BA | ATTACKER
Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 32 16 2 1 0
Cup 2 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total 34 16 2 0 0

The fact that Demba Ba was voted as the signing of the season by Premier League managers says it all.

The Senegalese striker moved to Tyneside last summer on a free transfer following West Ham United’s relegation to the Championship, and his goals have shown it was a shrewd bit of business.

It took him a while to get going, but once he started scoring it was almost impossible to stop him, and the goal he struck in the 3-0 defeat of Manchester United will guarantee him a place in Tyneside folklore.

The 26-year-old has netted two hat-tricks this term against Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City, and while the strikes might have dried up since compatriot Cisse joined him, he still makes a major contribution to a side which likes to play football on the counterattack.

Worryingly for Newcastle, the hitman has a £7 million release clause in his contract and he might well be on his way this summer. Sunday’s visit of Manchester City could be the ideal way to impress potential employes and earn a lucrative new deal.

PAPISS CISSE | ATTACKER
Competition Games
Goals
Assists Booked
Sent off
League 12 13 1 0 0
Cup 4 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total 12 13 1 0 0

Few Newcastle fans had even heard of Papiss Cisse when he suddenly turned up unannounced on Tyneside from Bundesliga side Freiburg. Now none of the Toon Army will ever forget the Senegalese striker, following a scorching start to life in England.

He hit the ground running with a goal when he emerged as a substitute against Aston Villa at the Sports Direct Aren,a and since then he has been even better than compatriot Ba was before Christmas.

A series of extraordinary goals – including his double in the 2-0 win at Chelsea - mean that he has had as good a start to life in the Premier League as any striker in the competition's history with 13 goals in 12 games – a feat shared by Newcastle old boy Micky Quinn during his time at Coventry and ex-Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips.

Cisse has had a massive impact since his £10 million move to Newcastle and at the current rate, he could even come close to challenging Geordie icon Alan Shearer’s record 206-goal haul for the Magpies - he does have another five years left on his contract after all.

TIM KRUL | GOALKEEPER
Competition Games
Conceded
Clean sheets Booked
Sent off
League 36 44 15 0 0
Cup 4 10 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total 38 54 15 0 0

Both Chelsea and Tottenham are being tipped to move for Tim Krul in the summer which shows just what an amazing season the Dutch goalkeeper has had in his first full campaign as the Newcastle No. 1.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew made a brave decision in putting faith in Krul, who worshipped former Manchester United shot-stopper Edwin van der Sar as a youngster. The trainer picked the 24-year-old ahead of the long-serving Steve Harper, but the decision has been handsomely rewarded.

Krul, who has been on Newcastle’s books since he was 18 after leaving Ado Den Haag, is a goalkeeper that ticks all the boxes and is not only a brilliant shot-stopper, also a force to be reckoned with in any set-piece situation.

When Shay Given quit Newcastle three years ago, members of the Toon Army probably feared they would never see anyone as good as the Republic of Ireland international again, but Krul is suggesting they could be wrong as long as he is kept out of their rivals’ clutches.

WINNER: PAPISS CISSE

STANDOUT PERFORMANCES
Liverpool (h) W 2-0 SCORED TWICE
Swansea (a) W 2-0 SCORED TWICE
Chelsea (a) W 2-0 SCORED TWICE & 9.0 RATING

He has spearheaded Newcastle’s drive for Champions League football, and the way things are going he could very well have a major say over who wins the Premier League title as well.

A player who just seems to be getting better and better as his sensational strikes against Chelsea showed, he will have Manchester City players quaking in their boots when the league leaders head to Tyneside on Sunday.

Cisse has come from nowhere to be Newcastle's star performer this season but, then again, that should be no surprise because that is what their Player of the Season has been doing ever since he pulled on the club's iconic No. 9 shirt.

Poll of the day

Who is Newcastle's Player of the Season?

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