Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-yueng is ‘not 100% trusted’ by Magpies head coach Steve Bruce, according to the Shields Gazette.
The newspaper claims that the South Korea international, who is on a reported £40,000-per-week at St James’ Park [Source: Spotrac], isn’t in the boss’s good books.
The report states that: “While Ki was a top performer when called upon by Rafa Benitez last season, it’s clear he’s not 100% trusted by Bruce.”
The former Swansea City man’s woeful performance in his big opportunity against Norwich City earlier this season certainly won’t have helped him turn Bruce around.
This is an assertion that is certainly backed up by the state of play at Anfield on Saturday. With Sean Longstaff having suffered a freak injury in training earlier this week, there was an opportunity for a different central midfielder to come in and do a job alongside Isaac Hayden. Ki was obviously a candidate, but it was Jonjo Shelvey who got the nod against Jurgen Klopp’s team. That in and of itself isn’t too surprising, the England international is a fine player after all, but it was the fact that Ki didn’t even make it off the substitute’s bench which was most telling. This is a game that Newcastle lost 3-1. There was a time when it was only 2-1 and there was still the (slim) chance that the Magpies could salvage a point on Merseyside. Yet who did Bruce turn to to change the game off the bench? Two defenders ahead of a veteran midfielder like Ki. Both Javier Manquillo and Federico Fernandez got on, but not the South Korean. So, yes, it seems clear that he’s not Bruce’s favourite player.