Massadio Haidara played for around 70 minutes of the U-23 game against Sheffield United on Thursday and Newcastle manager was at the Newcastle Academy ground to see how the 23 year-old Frenchman got on.
Massadio was signed from Nancy back in January, 2013.
He hasn’t played for the first team for almost a year because of injury and he did quite well, but Rafa is cautious and he still needs more games before he is fully ready to challenge for a place in the Newcastle first team again.
The last time Sadio played was the 6-2 home win over Norwich City.
23 year-old Massadio Haidara
This is what Benitez has said about the left-back:
“The plan was to give him 70 minutes and he did that.” “I think he did well, but it is a question of time.”
“If he has no problems, then next time we will give him 90 minutes.” “I think he is still one or two weeks away from being 100% fine.”
“He just has to keep on training. “He is doing well with us, but that is not the same as match fitness and the unexpected things you can find in a game like when you have to turn quickly.”
“In a training session, you can manage to be more careful. He still needs more time.”
Since the last time Sadio played Newcastle have a new manager in Rafa Benitez and they have also brought in a new left-back in Achraf Lazaar, who made his debut on Tuesday night in the 2-0 home win on Tuesday night in the EFL Cup.
So Sadio at the moment starts as third choice left back, but it will be interesting to see how Rafa can improve Haidara as a player.
The Frenchman is a good player but has had so many injuries since he’s arrived it’s restricted the first team appearances he has made to only 48.
So the first thing is to get Massadio fully fit.
He signed a five and a half year deal back in January of 2013, so his contract still has almost two years to run.