In Focus: Newcastle United outcast is frustrated; time running out to impress Benitez

According to reports in the Shields Gazette, Newcastle United outcast Massadio Haidara says he is frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities under Rafa Benitez in 2017.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the French defender was highly-rated when he moved to St James’ Park from French side Nancy in 2013, but things haven’t quite worked out for the left-back during his time with the Magpies – he has made just 51 appearances in all competitions in total, and just two this term.

Why’s that?

One of his main problems has been the number of injuries he has suffered.

He has suffered from five different knee injuries, which have kept him out of action for more than a combined 18 months, with his latest return to action coming at the start of this year.

What’s Haidara said?

He told the Shields Gazette: “I am a little bit disappointed with this season because every player wants to play in the first-team.

“When you are not frustrated at not playing there must be something wrong.

“But you have to make sure you use your frustration in a good way.”

Is he ready now?

Of course, after so many injury problems and time on the sidelines it can take a while to get back to your best form.

However, the 24-year-old has managed to make two appearances in the FA Cup, as well as a handful of outing for the Under-23 side, and is now desperate to help his side return to the Premier League.

Will he get the call from Benitez?

It’s difficult to say.

Paul Dummett has become something of a consistent performer at left-back this season, while the likes of Jesus Gamez, DeAndre Yedlin and Jack Colback can also fill in there if necessary.

Does he have a Newcastle future, then?

He will need to prove to Benitez that he is good enough, and fit enough, quickly.

With the Magpies on the cusp of returning to the Premier League, the Spaniard will want quality players that he can rely on, and he may already be looking for a new left-back for next season if they do win promotion following recent links to Manchester United’s Luke Shaw.