With Napoli the latest team to emerge as contenders to sign Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote, the Toon hierarchy could well be considering whether it is time to sell the Ivory Coast international, given recent developments at the club.
Currently sidelined with injury, Tiote could now struggle to get back into the Magpies starting line-up following the emergence of fellow African star Mehdi Abeid.
The 22-year-old was drafted into the team by Alan Pardew a couple of weeks ago and has garnered rave reviews for his performances in the Premier League to date, having played an instrumental role in a defensive midfield position in wins over Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion.
It all started with an appearance against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup, however, in what is fast proving to be a miraculous turnaround for the Algerian’s fortunes at St James’ Park.
A year ago the midfielder seemed to be heading out of the club, after being sent out on loan at Greek side Panathinaikos, who were reportedly eager to complete a permanent deal for the player.
Speaking to the Chronicle about the move, Abeid said: “I knew I had to play football and that’s why I went to Greece. I got a lot of experience, I learned a lot and I came back with a strong mentality and a strong character.”
His tally of 10 goals in 38 games for the Greek Super League side certainly reflected this and saw the Toon experience a change of heart which they are now all the better off for.
A young, skilful but most importantly tough character on the pitch, Abeid has a bright future ahead of him – provided he can produce performances consistently.
And with Tiote linked with bids of up to £16m, it could be time for Mike Ashley and co. to consider cashing in on an investment who is reaching his peak age.
With the likes of Vernon Anita still providing cover and support, Newcastle could find themselves well-stocked in the midfield area and with enough cash to go out in search of further squad reinforcements.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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