Papiss Cisse is closing in on a return to fitness after five months on the sidelines with a broken kneecap.

The Senegal striker has started training again after the layoff and could only miss one or two more matches before being considered for a first-team return.

Cisse struggled in front of goal last season – only managing four goals in 27 games – but could be given a chance to lead the Newcastle line as Alan Pardew’s side misfire. Emmanuel Riviere has been the main striker for the Magpies so far this season but hasn’t had the service required to open his goal scoring account for his new club.

The lack of conviction in front of goal could be good news for youngster Rolando Aarons, as the 18-year-old closes in on his first start for Newcastle. The teenager changed the game for the Geordies at home to Crystal Palace and his reward could be a start on the left wing against Southampton on Saturday.

Jack Colback missed out of England’s friendly win over Norway and European Championship qualifier win against Switzerland with injury but is expected to be fit for the trip to the South Coast.