Eden Hazard is the player who is inspiring Mohamed Diame.
The Newcastle midfielder has admitted that his form has been rubbish this season, the worst of his career.
Diame says ‘it is tough mentally’ and that sometimes he has lost ‘a bit of confidence’.
With only three Championship goals & two assists and only eight games remaining, the now retired Senegal international has given Newcastle next to nothing going forward in the number 10 role.
The biggest weakness in the team, he has alternated with Ayoze Perez, the pair of them not doing enough to convince anybody that they should be a certain first team starter.
Only the failure to bring in a better option in January has ensured Diame and Perez have continued rotating behind the main striker, with Diame even admitting earlier in the season that it was only his workrate that could be keeping him in the team.
In 2014/15, Eden Hazard had 14 Premier League goals and nine assists for Chelsea, then this season he has already notched 11 goals and four assists in Premier league matches.
In between though he had a season to forget with only four PL goals and three assists, as club politics and friction affected a number of players.
Not really sure of the excuses/reasons for Diame being so poor for Newcastle but he says he is looking at Eden Hazard as an example of how to ‘keep faith in yourself’.
Unless something dramatic happens in these remaining eight games, difficult to see Rafa Benitez believing either Perez or Diame could be first choice if promoted to the Premier League, with the number 10 role arguably top of his shopping list.
None of Rafa Benitez’ other 11 summer 2016 signings had made as many Premier league appearances as Mohamed Diame and even though he was 29 when signing, he looked a brilliant signing who would definitely do it in the second tier, especially after scoring 10 goals last season as Hull were promoted.
As good a place for him to start repaying Rafa’s trust is tomorrow against his old club Wigan.
Mohamed Diame talking to the Official NUFC’s Match Programme v Wigan:
“This season has been the poorest season of my career.
“It’s tough mentally.
“Sometimes you lose a bit of confidence and you lose confidence about how you can play.
“It’s not easy…but this is football and it happens sometimes. You just need to keep faith in yourself.
“I can give an example – Eden Hazard.
“He had a difficult season last season but he knows he’s a massive player, a good player. This year, he’s back again.
“I remember that it wasn’t easy at the beginning (when moving from Rayo Vallecano to Wigan).
“To be honest, I wanted to stay in Spain before I came and it wasn’t an easy decision.
“I didn’t speak English and people were telling me that in the Premier League the contact, the physicality, is difficult, and the players are stronger than in Spain.
“It wasn’t easy but when I arrived in Wigan, I found Roberto Martinez – who is Spanish of course – and the Spanish football he liked to play, and I enjoyed it.
“I had three years there and it was amazing. We always fought relegation and to stay in the Premier League but it was good to play with Wigan.
“I will always remember this club as a good one in my career.”