Newcastle new boy Abeid ambitious

21 July 2011 09:20
NEWCASTLE United's latest French recruit Mehdi Abeid has made it known he has not come to the club to make up the numbers in the reserves.

The 18-year-old midfielder signed a contract last month after impressing on trial and was expected to spend the forthcoming campaign providing cover and learning his trade under reserves boss and former Magpies favourite Peter Beardsley.

But such has been his impact, since arriving from Lens, he was promoted to Alan Pardew's squad for the club's trip to America.

The Frenchman made a 20-minute cameo in Newcastle's 2-0 victory over Darlington at The Northern Echo Arena last week and was expected to play in United's second pre-season friendly against Sporting Kansas City in the early hours of this morning.

While happy to get time on the pitch with his first team colleagues during United's friendly fixtures, he is looking at the bigger picture and earning a permanent place in Pardew's line-up.

There are some great players in this team, and I must battle to get past them, said Abeid. I want to progress here, and it's good for my education in football.

I'm very happy to be playing for Newcastle now. I hope I can do well for the club this season. And I'm looking forward to the challenge of being a Newcastle player.

Abeid is the fourth player with French links to arrive at the club since the end of last term following Sylvain Marveaux, Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba. After only two months at the club the teenager has recognised the potential at St James' Park.

I heard some good things about Newcastle from when I was in France, said Abeid who received glowing endorsements from United stars Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote and friend Yven Movo. They're a big club on the way up. Every young player would like this opportunity, and I feel very fortunate to have it.

Hatem (Ben Arfa) and Demba (Ba) have helped me a lot already. It's good to have them around while I settle in. It's a big challenge for me, and I hope to play in a lot of games this season in the first team.

The Newcastle manager has encouraged Abeid and other fringe players in the squad when he revealed places are still up for grabs for the curtain raiser with Arsenal on August 13.

I think there's certainly three or four places that are undecided, said Pardew,

The bulk of the team, in my mind, is there, but they've still got to stay fit and show form for that to come to fruition.

Source: Northern_Echo