Mehdi’s set for Newcastle United return

Mehdi Abeid.
Mehdi Abeid.
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MEHDI Abeid is set for a second posting at Newcastle United – after a first-class spell at Panathinaikos.

The midfielder spent last season on loan at the Greek club.

Abeid helped his team win the Greek Cup – and qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Cash-strapped Panathinaikos, where former Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas holds the position of technical director, are keen to take the 21-year-old back to Athens next season.

But they would struggle to raise a fee to sign him on a permanent basis, despite the revenues the club is set to earn from the Champions League.

United manager Alan Pardew closely tracked the progress of the club’s loanees last term.

Pardew felt Abeid – who struggled to make an impression in his first two campaigns at Newcastle – had the most successful spell at St James’s Park.

“Mehdi did well – we’re pleased with him,” Pardew said.

“Of all the guys we’ve had out on loan, he’s probably been our most successful one.

“More power to him. He’s a good lad with a good mentality. I’m pleased for him.”

Pardew said in March that he had wanted to loan Abeid to a Championship club – but there were no takers.

“We couldn’t get him on loan to a Championship team,” he said.

“No one seemed to know too much about him. Fortunately, we got that move to Panathinaikos.”

Technically-gifted Abeid – who joined Newcastle from French club Lens in the summer of 2011 as a raw prospect – is already focused on next season, having posted a series of videos on social networking site Instagram of him working out.

Abeid wrote: “Training started already, getting ready for next season.”

The Algeria Under-23 international – who represented France, the country of his birth, at youth level – will report back to United in early July for the start of pre-season training.

With Pardew having lacked options in midfield last season after the January departure of Yohan Cabaye, Abeid could yet establish himself in the Premier League with Newcastle.

Abeid – who had a spell at Scottish club St Johnstone the season before last – scored 10 goals for Panathinaikos, who finished fourth in the Greek Super League.

United struggled to find the net without leading scorer Loic Remy and Cabaye.