Premier League cult heroes - old and new

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Papiss Demba Cisse has already become a cult hero on Tyneside. With 10 goals in his first nine games since joining Newcastle United in January, the Senegalese striker has made clear his intentions to follow in the footsteps of the club's most famous No.9; Alan Shearer.

When the 26-year-old arrived at St James' Park from Bundesliga side Freiburg on a five-and-a-half-year deal at the turn of 2012, few could have anticipated the instant impact he would make in the Premier League, which has already led to comparisons between Cisse and the Magpies' record goalscorer.

His settling-in period for life in the north east of England has undoubtedly been aided by the presence of African compatriot and international teammate Demba Ba - himself in his first season in the famous black and white stripes - but after helping fire Alan Pardew's Toon Army into European contention next season, his early influence could propel him into an almost god-like status.

"I know the No 9 shirt is a huge thing in Newcastle, it's a monumental honour for me." Cisse told the Daily Telegraph. "Alan Shearer has set the bar very high and I must try to follow the path that he's set.

"I need to be aware of the past and what the shirt means, [and] I'm doing all I can to be worthy. Alan Shearer is the example I have to try and follow.

"I'm not trying to prove I am as good as him — but to live up to what the shirt means. The only way I can do that is by scoring goals and playing well and so far it's gone better than I imagined."

After Cisse's seamless transition into a new life, and a new culture, it appears the £10million man has not been burdened by the pressure of expectation that comes with his price tag, or the prestige of such a famous shirt.

GMF considers three other players in different stages of their careers with their respective clubs, looking to make the same impact and live up to their newfound standing.

Arsenal No.14 - Theo Walcott | Thierry Henry

Arsene Wenger has consistently backed 23-year-old winger Theo Walcott to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and make the transition from a wide role into the striker's position, but that development is yet to evolve for the former Southampton academy scholar, who has now made over 200 first-team appearances for the Gunners.

Henry made the switch from the flanks to the middle of the pitch and never looked back as he scored 226 goals in 369 appearances for the club before leaving north London for La Liga giants Barcelona in a €24million deal in 2007.

A brief return to the Emirates Stadium in a two-month loan deal from MLS side New York Red Bulls, provided a brief opportunity for Walcott to work alongside a player he looked up to when growing up, and wants to ultimately emulate at Arsenal.

The arrival of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - also from Southampton - last summer has seemingly put more pressure on the England international to start delivering on a regular basis, but Walcott still has a significant way to go before reaching the heights, and achievements of Henry who made Arsenal's No.14 shirt his own.

Liverpool No.7 - Luis Suarez | Kenny Dalglish

While it has only been just over 12 months since Luis Suarez took on the mantle for the next in line to wear the famous No.7 shirt, the 25-year-old Uruguayan international has already carved out a reputation as one of the leading lights at Anfield.

Under the stewardship of 'King' Kenny Dalglish - himself a predecessor of the prestigious jersey - the Liverpool striker has had headlines written about him for as many wrong reasons as right ones since signing from Ajax in the Eredivisie.

But, in terms of footballing ability, the South American has shown glimpses of his undoubted potential, which could establish him as a modern day Liverpool great.

"I hadn't realised its history when I asked for the seven," Suarez told the Daily Mail soon after arriving on Merseyside. "I was asked what number and I chose it.

"But now I'm quite happy that I did, now I know about players like Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan. I have seen some videos of Dalglish scoring for Liverpool. He was a great player."

Manchester United No.1 - David De Gea | Edwin van der Sar

When 20-year-old Spanish stopper David De Gea arrived at Old Trafford in an £18million deal from Atletico Madrid, expectation levels were at an all-time high, as Sir Alex Ferguson sought a quick solution to fill the void left by the retirement of Edwin van der Sar.

Manchester United's confidence in De Gea as the long-term successor between the sticks was there for all to see, with the youngster offered a lucrative five-year contract.

Van der Sar hung up his gloves at the ripe old age of 40, after becoming one of the most decorated goalkeepers of all time, but De Gea wasted no time in revealing his aspirations to match the achievements of his predecessor.

"In my opinion Edwin has been the best goalkeeper in the world while he was here," he said. "I hope to emulate him and spend a great number of years here and hopefully equal or even surpass the performance and contribution he made to the club."

After a shaky start to life in the Premier League, De Gea has started to come to terms with the physicality of the English game, and in recent weeks has pulled off a series of stunning saves and match-winning performances that show just why United have kept faith in the talented Spaniard.

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