Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has given hope to midfielder Henri Saivet after mentioning the Frenchman as one of five central midfield players he will consider for first team selection.
Speaking on Friday about Jack Colback’s situation at the club, Rafa said there was no way back for the former Sunderland player, and that he already has enough cover in the middle of the park without needing to consider him for first team duties:
“Without Merino, we can play Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Henri Saivet – even Chancel Mbemba played as a midfielder at the African Cup of Nations. It’s not a situation that for games, you will not have players, I think we have enough bodies.”
Saivet was not named on the bench for the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday but he had been named in the squad for the previous league game against Burnley. He has played just one match for Benitez during the Spaniard’s 18 months at the club, coming in the 3-2 loss to Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup back in August.
The 27 year old had spent the whole of last season on loan at Saint-Etienne but he did not secure a permanent switch back to France in the summer with manager Christophe Galtier questioning the player’s hunger.