GAEL Bigirimana admits he could be forced to leave Newcastle United in search of first-team football.
The midfielder was left out of Alan Pardew’s 24-man squad for the club’s two-game tour of New Zealand, and he made just one first-team appearance last season.
The 20-year-old fears he may have to reluctantly leave the club – either on loan or on a permanent deal – to get games.
Bigirimana, under contract until 2017, made a big impact during his first year at Newcastle after joining from Coventry City in 2012.
He made 25 appearances – and scored one goal – in what looked to be a breakthrough campaign at St James’s Park.
But Bigirimana’s career stalled last season, and he was disappointed not to travel to New Zealand.
Instead, Bigirimana played for the Under-21s in their friendly defeat to Gateshead on Friday night.
Asked what the future held for him, Bigirimana said: “I don’t know. It depends on how the manager sees you.
“Things were looking brighter, but things can change quickly.
“Sometimes you find yourself at the the top of the world in football, and very soon you find yourself at the bottom of the world.
“If the manager doesn’t see you in his plans, then there’s nothing you can do but see if you can get some games and see what the future holds.
“I’m not a person that goes around and says this or that if the manager has changed his mind. If he has, that’s his decision.
“I’m not going to say ‘why this?’ and ‘why that?’.
“Football’s like that. You’ve got to be strong. You just have to go somewhere where you can get games.”
Meanwhile, Bigirimana – who played in last week’s first-team friendly at Oldham Athletic – captained Peter Beardsley’s Under-21s against Gateshead at the International Stadium.
A United youthful team – only Bigirimana and Shane Ferguson had played a competitive senior game – lost 2-0.
“We’re disappointed with the result, but I was glad to get 90 minutes under my belt,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the new season and getting some games.”