Mohamed Diame must leave Newcastle United to save his career
Mohamed Diame has fallen down the pecking order this season under Rafa Benitez.
There was much excitement among Newcastle fans when the midfielder turned down a new contract offer from Hull City. The Tigers had been promoted to the Premier League, but Diame decided to drop back down into the Championship to sign for the Magpies. He made the headlines a few months earlier when his superb curling strike earned Hull a 1-0 win over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the Play-Off final.
Steve Bruce's decision to resign as manager after a lack of transfer activity was a key factor in Diame choosing to leave the Tigers. Although that decision may appear a good one, considering Hull were relegated from the Premier League and Newcastle won the Championship title, he now needs to leave St. James' Park in January to save his career.
The Senegalese scored three league goals for the Magpies last season, combined with finding the net three times in cup competitions. Many of his 37 appearances were from the bench, though. The previous campaign, he played a crucial role for Hull, scoring ten goals to help fire the club into the Play-Offs.
Diame's career is now disintegrating. He has fallen out of favour this campaign, making only two starts in the Premier League. The 30-year-old was also involved in a training ground bust-up with captain Jamal Lascelles in October.
Diame must wish he could turn back the clock.
Diame no doubt would be a great signing for any Championship club. He has recently been linked to a reunion with Steve Bruce at Aston Villa, and also with a move to Wales with Cardiff City. A return to the second tier would suit the midfielder. He can still be a very useful player.
It has not worked out for Diame at Newcastle as they have too many players in his position. He was Hull's key man and one of the first names on the team sheet, which made him more effective. The Tigers played to his strengths, utilising him in a central attacking role where he could run at defenders and take long shots. Whereas with the Magpies, he is used off the bench, usually out of position, making it difficult to make an impact.
Diame is vastly experienced in English football. He has been playing in the country for nearly nine years. Having previously been at Lens, Linares and Rayo Vallecano, the midfielder was brought to the Premier League by Wigan Athletic in 2009. After three seasons with the Latics, he was snapped up by West Ham United.
Although Diame was a key player for the Hammers in his first two seasons, he found chances hard to come by in the third. He then left to join Premier League rivals Hull on transfer deadline day in summer 2014. After playing only 12 games for the Tigers, however, he was ruled out by injury and had a lengthy stay on the touchlines. Following the Yorkshire club's relegation, Diame found himself playing in the Championship for the first time in his career. He proved one of the most talented players in the division.
Mohamed Diame must now drop back down to that level to rediscover his top form.