MEHDI Abeid feared for his Newcastle United career when he reported back to the club – but the midfielder’s future is now looking a lot clearer.
The 22-year-old’s days at the club looked to be numbered a year ago when he was sent out on loan.
Abeid played made just five appearances in his first two seasons on Tyneside after joining from French club Lens.
And the Algeria Under-23 international’s long-term future looked to be away from Newcastle when he embarked on a season-long Greek odyessy with Panathinaikos.
But technically-gifted Abeid impressed during his year at the Athens-based club – and he is closer than ever to first-team football at United.
“I didn’t know what would be my future,” Abeid said.
“But now it is clearer in my head.
“I want to keep going that way and show people that I can improve myself here.”
Abeid – handed a start in the club’s Capital One Cup tie against Gillingham late last month – could come into the equation for Newcastle’s game at Southampton a week today.
There are doubts over midfield pair Jack Colback and Cheik Tiote.
Colback has a calf problem and Tiote is yet to play for United this season because of injury.
For his part, Abeid, having played week in, week out for Panathinaikos, feels he is ready for his Premier League chance – when it comes.
“The Premier League is a big league in the world,” said Abeid, United’s best player against Gillingham at Priestfield.
“Playing at that level would be great for me.
“I have to be patient and I have to work.”
Abeid felt he matured as a player on the field – and a person away from the pitch – during his year at Pananthinaikos, who he helped lift the Greek Cup.
“I got some experience and played a lot of games,” said Abeid. “It’s a lot of experience for me.
“I grew up as a player and as a man.
“I want to keep going. I really learnt a lot there. I played a lot.
“I wanted to play football, and that is what I did. I want to pass another level.”
Abeid appears to have won over Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who said recently: “In that No4 role, he gives us a little bit more imagination.”
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