By Will Butcher

Former Newcastle star Olivier Bernard has claimed that new signing Mohamed Diame is a “matchwinner”, like his former teammate Moussa Sissoko.

The ex-Hull and West Ham midfielder joined the Magpies earlier this summer for £4.5million, before Euro 2016 finalist Sissoko left on transfer deadline day to join Tottenham for £30million.

In his column with the Evening Chronicle, the retired left back also claimed that Senegal international Diame is more consistent than his predecessor Sissoko.

“[Newcastle] United have replaced like for like by bringing in Mo Diame because he is a very similar player in that sense and he can be a matchwinner.

“If anything, he’s more consistent as well. Newcastle had to sell Sissoko in my opinion, but they did exactly the right thing by replacing him with Diame.”

Diame signed a three-year contract with Rafa Benitez’s side back at the start of August, after making the surprise move to leave Premier League side Hull to join the Toon.

The attacking midfielder has already proven his worth with four strong performances for Benitez’s side, as he helped the north east club to three wins over Bristol City, Cheltenham Town and Brighton.

Bernard, 36, is popular among the Magpies fans after making 130 appearances during a five-year spell on Tyneside, but cut short his career in 2007 due to a hip injury.

In other Newcastle news, this youngster has revealed his delight after being given an international call up.