It has been revealed that a contract clause extension will be triggered, if Mohamed Diame plays a certain number of matches this season.

The midfielder has struggled badly this season but Rafa Benitez has persevered with the former Hull player, as the other options clearly didn’t impress him.

Mikel Merino had happily left Newcastle this summer when his own contract clause was triggered, Real Sociedad offered the required £10m.

However, Mike Ashley refused to allow Rafa Benitez to spend money on what was essential strengthening of the engine room, instead only allowing him to bring in free transfer Ki Sung-yeung.

Rafa clearly doesn’t want to play Isaac Hayden, the defensive midfielder who did everything he could to try and leave Newcastle this summer.

Whilst after giving Ki a couple of games earlier in the season when Shelvey was unavailable, the manager ended up dropping the South Korean from the matchday squad altogether.

Ki missing from the bench for five weeks before recalled against Southampton, making a brief sub appearance thee, before Rafa’s hand was forced on Saturday with 40 minutes to go.

The 29 year old former Swansea man putting in a man of the match performance.

If Shelvey recovers for next Saturday, very interesting to see what Benitez will do in the centre of midfield.

Before Saturday’s game, our poll of Newcastle fans saw them wanting Ki Sung-yeung in the team against Watford, a slight preference in support over Mohamd Diame.

After yet another poor showing by Diame against Watford, combined with Ki doing so well, I think there will be overwhelming support for a Ki/Shelvey partnership to be given a try.

After a very poor first 18 months at Newcastle, Mohamed Diame looked like a totally different player over the course of a dozen or so matches in the second half of last season.

However, he has looked more like his old uninspiring self this season, leaving Shelvey fighting a lone battle in midfield and Newcastle second best in the middle of the pitch in almost every game.

Diame hasn’t got the best touch anyway and his biggest strength of stamina and getting around the pitch has badly faded this season, turning 32 in June it is difficult to see him being anywhere near good enough for next season, that is especially so if Newcastle remain in the Premier League of course.

The Chronicle:

‘The Chronicle understands that Diame already has an arrangement with the club to earn an extension and this will be triggered later in the season if he plays a specific number of games.

‘His current deal will expire at the end of the season but the conditions of the contract he signed in 2016 mean his future is in his own hands.

‘Diame has been an ever present in the United line-up this term, starting every game and playing 976 minutes so far with Martin Dubravka also involved in each Premier League outing.’

  • Paul Patterson

    What better excuse to play Ki then..

  • Kenny

    Jesus wept, just when you think things can`t get any worse this pops up.

  • Ram Kishore

    There’s obviously nothing wrong in the extension if he’s at least performing like he did in the second half against Watford.
    By next summer Hayden will leave, Diame is obviously better than he is.

    • Kenny

      He’s not though is he

      • Ram Kishore

        Did u really see the second half Kenny. He played well when Ki came on. He wasn’t very focused on passing the ball to Shelvey rather playing a better game.

        He loses the ball a number of times but he’s arguably the first choice for Rafa.
        I am just trying to give credit where its due

        • Billmag

          He just isn’t consistent enough, fair enough he played his part in our better form after Xmas but the team needs an upgrade on him.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yeah definitely we need an upgrade on him especially after Merino left and Hayden’s position was confirmed. I was expecting Hayden to leave for sure and I had hoped we signed that Juventus player Sturaro or someone who’s acombative ball winning midfielder with more passing capability.
            But as days went by and Sturaro’s agent’s interview made it clear to me that he was not going to be here. The interviews felt like either Juventus wanted more fee or his agent was trying to create a bidding war for more wages and commission.

    • Pezza

      Such a strange article. I agree with you, Diame played well when Ki cane on.

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    • steve

      He may have been slightly improved in the second half but he was still absolutely awful.

    • 1957

      Is he ? … to me it’s six of one, half dozen of another, neither good enough the only difference being SloMo is nearly 30 and Hayden at least has some time on his side to improve.

      Big Mike will be clapping his hands, Mo gets a new contract, and presumably a pay rise, so why do we need / how can we afford to buy another midfielder

      • Ram Kishore

        I don’t really know how Hayden will turn out in the future but he has mentioned clearly he wants out. He has his reasons I respect them.
        Asking for a transfer is fine but when I read the interview it felt he was determined to leave.
        And right now Diame is above him in the Squad and lineup which no one can’t fault imho
        Diame was poor in the first half but was decent in the second and became a bit better when Ki came on. I have criticised Diame in the past and i will do it in the forthcoming matches. But I am just giving the credit where it’s due.

        I am also sure we need a better upgrade for Diame this Jan or next summer

    • Cockneytrev

      If you think he’s s decent player, you know nothing about football,,

      • Ram Kishore

        Rafa comes in the same category of knowing nothing about football I suppose for persisting on playing him.
        Just letting u know that.

        It was just a opinion pal and I am being honest here. He was decent in second half and poor on the first half.
        It is not his fault that he is playing for us or being a first team regular. But I know he’s better than Hayden since Jan.
        In the Championship Hayden was superior to Diame. Hayden was ok in the early part of last season when he combined with Merino. This season he hasn’t stepped up

        • Cockneytrev

          Benitez has no one else,,,
          And I’m not your pal.

          • Ram Kishore

            He has Hayden, Sean Longstaff. I am just saying there are numbers in our squad.But he persists on him why? Because he’s better than anyone else when it comes to physical side of the game on the pitch in our midfield.

            Did u really read my first comment?
            I never said he was decent. All ii sai was he was doing better in the second half of last season and second half of last match against watford.
            Stop with this ‘ I am not your pal’ cr*p. All I did was make an argument and i mentioned the word by mistake Stop pointing out to useless nonsense.

          • Cockneytrev

            I’m not your buddy either,,
            I amazes me the amount of morons who post on this site who know nothing about football, also the key board warriors who hide behind their screens..
            now sit down and pay attention in class,,,,,,

          • Ram Kishore

            Yes you are not my buddy. Because my buddies dont call others moron and are not silly like u are.
            This is my real name. I live in Chennai, India.
            I am 25. I have been to St James’ twice during the summers of 2004 and 2005. I have been a fan of the club ever since.
            Football is about entertainment
            Is it not?
            So I don’t really need to be a professional to know about football. As Rafa says ‘ our fans are smart and they know the situation’.
            I do know the limitations of our players and I try to be as balanced as possible.
            If you don’t agree me, just tell me the reasons. U don’t have to come up with stuff like ‘ u know nothing about football’ ‘moron’ ‘keyboard warriors’ ‘hiding behind screens’.

            I am not hiding with a made up name like you are ‘ Cockney trev’.
            Few cockneys are real morons as you are. Just a humble request to you. The things u just mentioned above.. doesn’t it really suit u?
            You just have to find that by yourself idiot

          • Cockneytrev

            Stick to cricket,,,

          • Ram Kishore

            You are boring mate.
            Why are u so bothered

  • Ashley-out

    A passenger, poor in passing the ball, poor in marking players, poor at shooting at goal, runs around a bit when he feels like it, players like Diame will get you relegated.

  • Steven05

    This is good news – 2 players for the price of one

  • Leicester Mag

    Another classic from Penfold. How lucky we are to get this business titan doing his breathtaking job for nothing more than his boundless love for the club.

    • Kenny

      A real diamond M/D if ever there was one.

    • 1957

      Benitez can’t escape some blame for SloMo plodding around SJP like a modern day Des Hamilton, but I agree it is a ludicrous contract clause for a player who has made a career from being mediocre. His stats are even average during his time in the French second division at the start of his career.

    • Dave Pattinson

      Ha! Classic!

  • KennySamsung

    Diame when playing well is a very good player but because he is a player who breaks up play and gets tackles in, when it doesn’t happen he is a passenger. I’d rather people concentrated on getting behind him because at the minute there are no other options. Whether people like it or not it’s that simple.

  • Wor Lass

    “After yet another poor showing by Diame against Watford …” Fair enough, I didn`t watch the game but did you, Graham, or were you too busy stalking Sunderland fans? By all accounts, SloMo was poor again first half but improved considerably when Ki came on and he was able to play his own game. Jonjo seems to have been carrying an injury so maybe SloMO was trying to compensate? I don`t see him as a player to take us on to top half status in the future but I also don`t see who we have that can break up play in the middle of the park like he does.

    • Kenny

      we have got anybody & that`s the problem

    • Cockneytrev

      He was awful,, even in the second half when we were the better team,, the amount of times he gives the ball away and he couldn’t tackle a bacon sandwich,,

      • Cockneytrev

        Forgot to add, he couldn’t head a lettuce,,,

    • KennySamsung

      For me Diame is playing too far back, he should play further forward, in fact the whole team should defend higher up, the reason it doesn’t is because Shelvey needs room to hit his long balls instead of running with it more. Ki can run with it and bring other people into the game and Diame can do his thing to make sure it doesn’t break down. Tell me I’m not dreaming!