Mehdi Abeid is off to play for Algeria, as they attempt to qualify for next summer’s Olympic Games to be held in the UK.
Mehdi Abeid – to play for Algeria U23 side
Mehdi will now be unavailable for Newcastle until he comes back in on mid-December, but manager Alan Pardew has decided it will be good for the youngster to get some games under his belt.
It seems that Abeid has chosen to play for Algeria rather than for France, the country of his birth, and he believes playing in the Olympic qualifiers will help him get some games, and hopefully then get more into the first team picture at Newcastle.
Mehdi did play for the French youth sides, and has represented them at U16, U17 and U18 levels, before he was spotted by Newcastle Chief Scout Graham Carr, and brought to Tyneside last summer.
With Cheick Tioté away for the African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Guinea from mid-January, there could be an opportunity for the 19 year-old at that time, although it would seem that Danny Guthrie will be first in line to again replace the combative Ivory Coast midfielder.
Abeid talked to the Journal this morning:
“It is a great opportunity for me. The aim is to play first-team football on a regular basis for Newcastle United.” “The chance to play international football can help me to achieve this.”
“I am really happy with my decision to join Newcastle.” “It has worked out for me and I could not be happier. It did not take too long to adapt.”
“It was great to play for the first team for the first time.” “You have a really good feeling playing in front of those supporters. After it, I just wanted to be able to do that again.”
Abeid has played four reserve-team games and played the full game in the Carling Cup 4-3 win at Nottingham Forest in September, and looked rather impressive in that game.
The Algerians will face an Olympic qualifier against Senegal in Tangiers this Sunday, in their first qualifying match and then other games against Morocco and Nigeria.
We have to wish Mehdi and Algeria every success, and it would be great to see him be able to play in the Olympic Finals next summer, when St. James’ Park will be one of the venues.