European Jaunt Transformed Abeid

Last updated : 05 November 2014 By Footy Mad - Editor

 ... become a regular in his Newcastle United side.

But his loan spell in Greece has transformed a player who never seemed to settle on Tyneside.

At the crossroads of his career, he was sent out to Panathinaikos to work on his strength and fitness, and his taste of European football seems to have got the best out of him.

Abeid impressed on his Premier League debut on Saturday as United beat Liverpool 1-0 at St James’s Park, and we saw a different player to glimpses we had seen in the past.

Games would pass him by, he would drift out of position and look like a "boy lost".

Alan Pardew (talking to the Shields Gazzette): “I actually thought he was better at Man City than against Liverpool, because he’s a good passer. He has good strength, good discipline and a good mentality.

“He earned the right to play on Saturday, and hopefully he is one of the young players that could be a regular for us.”

Midfielder Jack Colback: “Mehdi’s shown he’s capable of handling the step up to this level. He’s a very good player.

“He went out on loan last season to the Greek league and did very well.

“You can see in training that he’s got the ability to be able to do it in this league, and he’s shown twice now that he can.

“But everyone who has come in has done well, and it gives the manager a tough decision each week to pick the team.”

Being scene on the European stage with Panathinaikos, however, could work against Newcastle, because they may be without him for African Nations Cup in January
He has been called-up to the full Algerian national side.

Algeria are heading for the African Cup of Nations in Morocco, and the midfielder has two months to force his way into the squad, with games against Ethiopia and Mali in November.

Algeria chief Christian Gourcuff has told the him he will feature in both games at some stage.