Mohamed Diame has decided to concentrate fully on Newcastle United
The NUFC midfielder announcing that he has retired from international football.
As well as looking to dedicate himself to his club football, Diame has declared another reason for opting out of internationals, saying that he thinks there are 23 Senegal players who are better than him.
Mohamed Diame missed a key middle section of Newcastle’s season when heading off to Gabon and the African Cup of Nations, only to have a wasted journey when totally ignored for the competitive games, finding himself only selected for the dead group match against Algeria.
The midfielder has turned out 36 times for Senegal but now that pointless Algeria game looks to be his last.
“I believe that there are now 23 Senegalese players in better shape (than me).
“After much thought and consideration, I feel now is the appropriate time to focus fully on my club career.”
No doubt one or two of you will be thinking that there were 23 or more members of the St James Park crowd on Saturday who could have done better than Mohamed Diame.
A frustrating player who has very very rarely showed anything like the form that saw him appear in the Premier League year after year and then score 10 goals and grab four assists when helping Hull City get promoted last season.
Ironically, it was just before he headed off to Gabon that we started to see a few far better displays by Diame, coinciding with reports that Rafa Benitez had lost patience and was looking to bring in a new number ten in January.
Back in October, Mohamed Diame gave an equally honest appraisal of himself.
‘Still more to come from you?’
“When Rafa Benitez called me, he called me for more than I am giving at the moment.
“As I say, I am still working hard, that’s why I think I am still in the team, but need to give more offensively.”
With nine games to go and only three Championship goals and two assists so far, Diame has it all to do if he’s going to convince Newcastle fans that he deserves many more chances.