There are Newcastle players that fans have forgotten about now they are out on loan…and then there is Henri Saivet.
He is arguably the most pointless signing of all (against pretty stiff opposition), in the whole Ashley/Carr/Charnley transfer ‘plan’ shambles.
Now however he is enjoying life back in France, Thursday night seeing a draw against Mainz enough to take St Etienne through the Europa League group stage with a game to spare.
Henri Saivet has played in four of his loan club’s five Europa League matches and in seven Ligue 1 games, in a season interrupted by a thigh injury – last night playing in the number 10 position behind the striker.
In the league, St.Etienne are currently ninth but only four points off fourth position.
Not looking the worst player the club signed but with United desperate for defenders and especially strikers, instead Henri Saivet was brought in for £5m to join an already congested central midfield range of options at the club.
It was a classic signing of that failed transfer strategy, handed to Steve McClaren who clearly had no idea of where he wanted to play Saivet, with the Senegal international looking no better than what was already at St James Park.
Only 147 minutes of football for Newcastle United in two starts and two sub appearances, though not a minute on the pitch under Rafa Benitez.
After he returned to France on loan in the summer transfer window, Henri Saivet reflected on life at Newcastle and hard not to feel a little sorry (when forgetting about the money side of things..) for him, as just like players such as Riviere and many other ‘bargain’ buys from Ligue 1, he simply wasn’t good enough.
Saivet says that he came to play for Newcastle and not be paid to do nothing, saying ‘It was horrible, you’re there, you’re useless’.
Henri Saivet on how he joined Newcastle, talking to France Football:
“I had not planned to leave (Bordeaux).
“The proof? I was planning move and buy me a new home in Bordeaux but when I returned from vacation (January 2016), I was told there was a lot of stress for me and that if I wanted to leave, I could. I came back from holiday with the desire to start well and I was told that … “
“I had been recruited to play and I was not playing. It was hard. I had the impression of being paid to do nothing. It was horrible. You’re there, you’re useless. “
Joining St.Etienne on loan:
“A place you want to be, it feels really good. Marseille also wanted me but I chose the Greens.
“I want to go far in the Europa League to further grow the club and why not be third (in Ligue 1) and play the preliminary round of the Champions League? “