Defender Fabricio Coloccini is rapidly making his mark at Newcastle after emerging from the misery of his early days on Tyneside. The 28-year-old Argentina international arrived at St James' Park from Deportivo la Coruna during the summer of 2008 with a big reputation and a £10.3million price-tag.
But now in his third season with the club, he has rebuilt his reputation to the extent that he was handed the captain's armband for last weekend's 2-2 draw with Wigan and rewarded manager Chris Hughton with a priceless injury-time equaliser.
Central defensive partner Mike Williamson said: "He is one of the most laid-back players I have ever played with. His quality on the ball is just unbelievable.
"Playing alongside him is not difficult because he is a world-class player.
"He has got everything in his game - he can head it, he can tackle, he can play. He has got the full package."
Hughton too has been delighted with the South American's form as he attempts to belatedly establish himself in the top flight.
He said: "He is having a wonderful season so far. Last season, he was certainly one of our better players in a good season, and what he has been able to do is take that form into this season, and it has been important.
"With Steven Taylor being injured and having brought Sol Campbell in and seen him miss the games he has missed through being injured and with Mike Williamson in his first season in the Premier League, Fabricio has been a vital player for us, and we hope that continues.
"I am a great believer that if you are a player who works hard enough at your game, are confident enough about your own ability and try to do all the right things, you stand in good stead to improve yourself as a player.
"He has been arguably our most consistent player this season."