Newcastle midfielder Mehdi Abeid may have thought his Newcastle career was over when he was shipped out a year last August, on a season long loan deal to Panathinaikos in Greece.
Mehdi Abeid in action against Liverpool
But it didn’t take long for Alan Pardew to begin receiving some rave reports about Mehdi’s performances, and he went on to play 38 games and scored 10 goals for Panathinaikos, and he was one of their very best players.
Alan Pardew took a good look at him in the summer and decided to keep Abeid at Newcastle as part of the first team squad, and he has played four times this season so far, including the last couple of games, and 9 times total for the Newcastle first team.
But he is almost certain to start tomorrow at West Brom, and he should add significantly to his number of Newcastle appearances this season.
Alan Pardew has no doubt that the 22 year-old came back from Greece an improved player:
“It’s interesting that Mehdi has a call-up for Algeria and has a chance of making the Africa Cup of Nations,” “That’s something which is concerning me a bit, because he’s done really well.”
“He’s got a great opportunity this time. He’s definitely a gauge for other young players – not just at this club, but other Premier League clubs.”
“He’s shown that going on loan can help massively. He came back from that loan spell with Panathinaikos last season a much better player.” “It’s a system I’ve always believed in.”
“We have players out on loan at the moment, and we’ll continue to do that because I think it works.” “He was a bit unlucky when he first came because he had Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in front of him. That was tough.”
“Then Moussa Sissoko came and Jack this summer, and we’ve been fairly strong in that department, but he’s been pushing hard.”
Newcastle probably haven’t used the loan system enough, apart from the last couple of seasons, and it really does give the youngsters a chance to get first team games, mature and become better players when they return to Newcastle.
Who would have thought after his performance against Liverpool last Saturday – that game was Mehdi’s debut appearances in the Premier league.
We would be very surprised by the time we play QPR at home in a couple of weeks, if Mehdi Abeid is not a full Algerian International by then.
And yes, we could lose him for January and some of February when he is likely to get into the Algerian squad for the African Cup of Nations.
But that’s also when Vurnon Anita can earn his money at Newcastle, if both Tiote and Abeid are away in Morocco representing their countries.
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