We wondered initially why Massadio Haidara was missing from the initial group of 23 players that Alan Pardew took on the week-long training camp to Portugal, but it looks like he was nursing a knock, and needed more fitness training.
Massadio beating up on a Newcastle coach
And Gael Bigirimana had only just returned to Newcastle, after representing the England U20 side at the World Championships in Turkey – but we finished bottom of the group (again) but Bigi was hardly used – so if you don’t use your best players what do you expect?
But it looks like both lads could be participating on Sunday afternoon (3:00 pm kick off time) when Newcastle will take on Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in the 4th friendly game of the season – although that first half at Pacos de Ferreira was anything but friendly.
Both lads are budding stars for Newcastle, and Haidara has already said his target this season is to displace Davide Santon from the left-bank position in the first team – but Santon looked pretty good in Portugal.
Bigirimana is 3rd from the left in the front row
And Gael Bigirimana had a very good first season on Tyneside, and played 25 times with a great goal against Wigan, and if he progresses this season like he did last season, he could be pushing for a starting place in the team next year – we think he’s that good.
We hope he’s that good.
Haidara did make the training camp at Braga over the weekend, as he had caught up on some of his training at Benton, and he’s seen above taking his frustrations out on a Newcastle coach.
Alan Pardew talked about the two players in the Chronicle today:
“Bigi’s a player we’ve got high hopes for, but he’d literally walked through the door before the team left for Portugal.” “We thought it was fair he stayed with the U-21s.” “With Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote, it was going to be difficult for him to get a game.” “I’d rather he played and see how does.” “He didn’t get much action with England’s U-20s, so he needs game time.”
“Massadio improved quicker than we thought. We didn’t think he could do anything last week.” “All my best medical care was in Portugal, so I decided to bring him out. We got some good work into him.”
It seems that it’s neck and neck between Massadio Haidara and local lad Paul Dummett as to who gets the chance to challenge Davide Santon this season for the left-back spot.
And there cannot be much between these two lads at the moment, and whoever doesn’t stay on Tyneside will be sent out on loan, probably to a Championship club, to get first team experience there – and plenty of clubs will be interested in taking either of these lads on loan.
Massadio and Gael are two of the most promising youngsters at Newcastle these days, and we hope to see both of them get an outing at the seaside on Sunday..
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