Last season looked at one point as though it was going to be a big turning point for Mehdi Abeid at Newcastle United.
Featuring in consecutive wins over Manchester City (away in the League Cup) and Liverpool at St James Park, commanding performances looked set to give the midfielder a belated run in the United team.
However, injury and then John Carver all but ignoring him, rubber-stamped his departure at the end of last season.
Whilst Newcastle were still saddled with the likes of Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita, the young Algerian international was allowed to move permanently to Panathinaikos for a nominal fee.
Considering the problems Newcastle had experienced in the middle of the pitch since Yohan Cabaye’s departure, it didn’t suggest that the likes of Tiote, Colback and Anita were going to offer any lasting solution. With many Newcastle fans believing that Mehdi Abeid had deserved more opportunity.
Wednesday morning has brought a rather strange story in the Chronicle, claiming ‘Top European clubs’ are interested now in Mehdi Abeid but a ‘source’ says he would like to come back to Newcastle and his value is now £3m.
Coincidentally, I happened to be checking yesterday as to how Mehdi Abeid had been getting on at Panathinaikos this season.
He has made 24 league appearance, 19 starts and five as a sub, whilst he has also been subbed off 10 times – scoring three goals in the process.
It basically looks as though Abeid has had a decent/ok season, a bit like his club, they are currently third in what is a very weak Greek league, which Olympiakos guaranteed finishing top of some time ago and Panathinaikos are now 25 points behind those league leaders with two games to play, three points behind second placed AEK Athens.
In just those two performances against Manchester City and Spurs, Mehdi Abeid showed more than Vurnon Anita has in his entire four year Newcastle career and Cheick Tiote has in the same time period ever since the 2011/12 fifth place finish.
I don’t think it needs saying….but obviously Mike Ashley wouldn’t spend £3m on a player he let go a year earlier for a couple of hundred grand.
Equally, just as obviously there are surely no ‘Top European clubs’ waiting to pounce for Abeid.
He is a young midfielder who was definitely worth a go in the Newcastle team but who has suffered due to the crazy transfer policy which sees the club accumulating well paid players who they then can’t get rid of, especially in centre midfield – with Henri Saivet looking to be a knocking bet to be another one.
Abeid also suffered at Newcastle due to Alan Pardew’s repeated refusal to give young players any chance under him at St James Park.
So good luck Mehdi Abeid but we won’t be seeing you again on Tyneside.
See below two of the three league goals he has scored this season, both of them coming in a January 4-2 win over Panaitolikos – check out the crowd, or rather the lack of one.