Former NUFC midfielder Mehdi Abeid has revealed his ‘wish’ to return to Newcastle, saying he still regrets leaving the club back in 2015.
Several years on from his £500,000 move to Panathinaikos, the Algerian international is currently impressing in Ligue 1 with Nantes and has been speaking about his departure during an open and honest interview with the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder.
He admits leaving was his ‘biggest regret’ but accepts he needed game-time to progress – something he wasn’t getting on a regular basis, making just 21 appearances across his four years on Tyneside.
Here’s what he’s had to say during his chat with the Chronicle this week, opening the door to a potential return:
“I think it was my biggest regret to quit Newcastle United.
“If I could change the past I would take the decision to stay and prove myself to the club and the fans.
“But I was really young and I needed that game-time to progress.”
“The club understood that I wanted to have game-time but I wish one day to play again for Newcastle United again.
“There is a lot of work to do, and I’m concentrating with Nantes to make a great season here.
“Like I said me and my family loved the city and the time we had there, I’ve been back a couple of times since I left three years ago.”
With him set to turn 28 this year and no longer the sort of young prospect that would appeal to our ridged transfer policy, it’s hard to see him returning – but he is a player we may have sold too soon.
He looked made for the Premier League when he broke onto the scene in 2013/14, with him looking particularly impressive in our 1-0 win over Liverpool at St James’ Park that season, dominating a midfield battle that included a certain Steven Gerrard!
A case of what could have been, but it’s good to see he’s made a good career for himself, playing regularly for club and country.
Here’s him in action during life after NUFC: