Newcastle midfielder surprisingly misses out on World Cup place
Newcastle United representation is looking thin on the ground at the minute.
Matz Sels was named in Belgium’s initial 28 man squad and is expected to make the final 23 man cut.
However, Wednesday has brought news from Belgium that a permanent move to Anderlecht is expected to be sealed shortly, with a five year contract agreed with the keeper, the two clubs said to be very close to finalising their agreement.
Aleksandar Mitrovic will be over in Russia with Serbia for sure but if Fulham win the play-off on Saturday then I wouldn’t be surprised to see their rich and ambitious owner instantly putting a big bid in for Mitro to try and get a permanent transfer sorted, protecting against a possible price hike if the striker has a stellar World Cup.
After that, we are struggling…
However, one player who looked a certainty to go, was Henri Saivet.
The Newcastle player went to Turkey on loan in January, with part of the reason being to try and ensure his place in Russia.
The Senegal midfielder played 12 times for Sivasspor and helped them to finish seventh in the league.
During that loan spell, Senegal continued to pick Henri Saivet, with him appearing against both Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of March.
Senegal are drawn alongside Poland, Japan and Colombia in Group H and have now named their final 23 man squad for the World Cup finals.
Amongst them are many players based in England, such as Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Everton’s Idrissa Gueye.
Though he isn’t one of their stars, Henri Saivet has been a regular in the Senegal squad so very surprising to see him left out of the 23 man squad (full squad below).
As well Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare, Everton striker Oumar Niasse and Cardiff City star Armand Traore were also snubbed.
There was no indication that he had been approached but with the form Mohamed Diame has been in, you would think that surely he would also have been an asset to Senegal, if convinced to give up his international retirement.
Meanwhile former Newcastle striker Demba Ba claims he isn’t massively disappointed after also missing out on Senegal’s selection.
Ba has scored seven goals in 13 appearances for Turkish side Goztepe after recovering from a shocking broken leg incident in China two years ago.
Demba Ba speaking to Senegalese media outlet Record:
“I am not too disappointed at all.
“I have no control over the coach’s decision and I will only hurt myself by pulling my hair out or by feeling sorry for myself.
“The only power I have, in reality, is to keep producing good performances. I do not have to whine about missing the chance to play in a World Cup.
“I have no regrets, as my progress in football has taken the proper route because hard work has taken me to where I am today.
“After being 18 months out with injury…in July 2016, people were wondering if my career was over?
“Today, they are sad because Demba is not on the list of 23 Lions.
“You cannot imagine the path I’ve taken to get to this stage of my career. I can only feel a sense of pride and contentment.”
Senegal’s 2018 World Cup squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (SPAL, Italy), Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya, Guinea)
Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Kara Mbodii (Anderlecht, Belgium), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Salif Sane (Hannover, Germany), Moussa Wague (Eupen, Belgium)
Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye (Everton, England), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United, England), Alfred Ndiaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City, England), Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City, England), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France)
Forwards: Keita Balde (Monaco, France), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City, England), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England), Mbaye Niang (Torino, Italy), Diafra Sakho (Rennes, France), Moussa Sow (Bursaspor, Turkey)
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