FORGOTTEN man Gael Bigirimana says he “just wants to play” – and would welcome a loan move away from Newcastle United.
The midfielder is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Magpies this season, and his last game at senior level was in a League Cup tie at Morecambe in August 2013.
The 21-year-old was on the bench for the FA Cup third round defeat at Leicester City earlier this month, but his only appearances this season have been at Under-21 level.
Bigirimana played 25 times in his debut campaign at Newcastle after a move from Coventry in 2012, before falling out of favour.
The appointment of a new head coach at St James’s Park could hand him another chance to prove himself, but Bigirimana feels he may need a temporary move away.
He said: “It has been a challenging season because I want to get into the first team.
“It has been tough, because players in my position have been performing well, but, in football, sometimes you’ve just got to stay positive.
“It’s tough, but we’ll see what happens now that the club is looking to bring someone new in, or if JC (caretaker John Carver) stays in, then we’ll see what happens.
“It was good to go back into that kind of place where you travel with the first team, even though I was on the bench and didn’t come on (against Leicester).
“It gave me a good lift, but I just want to play.
“I need to hopefully get a loan move.
“You never know, because that’s out of my hands, but I’ve just got to play well, stay fit and keep improving.”
A number of players from Newcastle’s development team, including Rolando Aarons and Adam Armstrong, have made an impact at first-team level this season.
That has buoyed Bigirimana, who now wants to follow the same path.
He added: “The club has got a lot of good young players with potential. I’ve seen that and I’ve enjoyed playing with them.
“It’s good for me to see there are players playing in the first team now that last season I was playing with, and I helped them.
“I’m happy to see them go through, and if the same happens for the other ones right now next year, that’s the biggest thing for me.
“At the same time, I want to make my career good.”
Bigirimana was part of a youthful Newcastle team beaten 1-0 by Blackburn in the quarter-final of the Under-21 Premier League Cup on Tuesday.
The midfielder described it as a “learning curve” for the Tynesiders, who were without the likes of Armstrong, Lubo Satka and Freddie Woodman, who are in Dubai with the first-team squad.
He said: “Without making excuses, we missed a strong three or four players who normally start, so we were a really young team.
“Our season has been great when we have had all our players available, so it’s just a shame, but all of the players stuck at it and it’s a learning curve.”