Mohamed Diame – arguably the one signing in summer 2016 that Newcastle fans thought would easily make the step up back to the Premier League if Newcastle were promoted.
Rafa Benitez putting faith and significant wages in a player who will be 30 when United kick-off their top tier campaign in August.
Mohamed Diame had played all his football in England in the Premier League, apart from last (2015/16) season when he was Hull’s star man with 10 goals and four assists from midfield, including the promotion winning goal at Wembley in the play-offs.
Diame has only managed three Championship goals and three assists for Newcastle and has looked really poor in the second tier, never mind the Premier League.
Can he be an asset next season for Newcastle?
In his latest interview this week, Mohamed Diame says that he and the rest of the Newcastle squad ‘have responded on the pitch’. If only he had, Newcastle would surely have been promoted long before it happened against Preston.
Interesting looking back on Diame’s quotes throughout the season, a player who constantly hinted he was going to pull his finger out…but never quite found it.
Mohamed Diame – 22 May 2017 speaking to the Chronicle:
“Now people know why I came here. It is a massive club.
“We are going to do everything to shine in the Premier League next season.
“It was an amazing season.
“We expected to get promoted at the beginning of the season – I think we have responded on the pitch.
Mohamed Diame – 4 August 2016
“It’s a great feeling (signing for Newcastle), to be honest. When I received a call from the manager (Rafa Benitez) I was quite surprised.
“Everybody close to me knows how desperate I am to play in the Premier League again…
“He (Rafa Benitez) just told me that he stayed here because he wants to be in the Premier League with this club, and he has a project to come back as soon as possible and build a strong team when they come back to the Premier League. The way he talked to me convinced me to come here.”
Mohamed Diame – 12 October 2016:
“When Rafa Benitez called (signed) me, he called me for more than I am giving at the moment.”
Mohamed Diame – 28 November 2016:
“I need to wake up because I have been sleeping since I got here.
“The manager is pushing me and telling me he wants more.”
Mohamed Diame – 15 March 2017
“I know that it is important when you are in a club like Newcastle, you have to perform at 100 per cent – even 200 per cent.
“It’s not an easy decision but I hope with all the rest that I will get from now (after retiring from international football) I will be fresh to give my best for Newcastle.”
Do you think Mohamed Diame should be persevered with next season?
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])