Newcastle United have had a dismal record with their left-back situation over many years and at times Massadio Haidara has suggested that he might just be the answer.
However, nearly four years into his Newcastle career and the French full-back looks further away from proving that than he ever has.
Coming up to 24 in December, the player has just over 18 months of his five and a half year contract remaining.
Arriving from Nancy in January 2013, Massadio Haidara made his debut as a sub in a 2-1 Premier League win over Stoke at St James Park on 10 March 2013.
A week later we witnessed one of the worst refereeing displays ever seen, as Newcastle lost 2-1 at Wigan, as Newcastle fought for their Premier League lives.
Massadio Haidara had replaced Mathieu Debuchy after 14 minutes, then only 13 minutes later, Haidara himself was stretchered off and replaced by James Perch. Haidara had been the victim of a vicious assault by Callum McManaman but referee Mark Halsey didn’t even give Newcastle a free-kick, never mind a red card for McManaman.
Exasperating the problem, the FA amazingly declared that they were unable to take action against the Wigan player retrospectively.
After recovering Massadio Haidara has only made 23 league starts in these past four years for Newcastle, as injuries and indifferent form have hampered his progress.
The Frenchman’s last start for United was over a year ago, the 2-1 home defeat by Watford, a substitute appearance in the 6-2 win over Norwich his very last time when getting onto the pitch in a first team game.
Jesus Gamez and Achraf Lazaar were brought in this summer to help try and solve the left-back problem of many a year. However, injury for Gamez and Lazaar looking nowhere near ready for the rigours of the Championship so far, we have been left with Paul Dummett.
The Geordie Welsh international has been committed as usual but Massadio Haidara would surely have been given a chance if fit enough, as Dummett has often struggled even at this level with his defending, whilst offering nothing going forward.
Haidara actually did make a playing comeback last month, his first appearance since his injury.
The former Nancy full-back played 45 minutes against Stoke reserves on 12 September but hasn’t been seen or heard of since.
Over three weeks have gone since then and another four reserve matches but no sign of Massadio Haidara.
At a time in the Championship when many players are getting a chance to get their Newcastle careers back on track, it is a shame that it looks as though Haidara isn’t going to get his.