Mehdi Abeid reveals how loan away from Newcastle helped him

Mehdi Abeid has finally broken into the Newcastle United first-team, three years after signing for the club.

The Algerian youth international signed for the Magpies in 2011, moving from French club Lens, with whom he had spent eight years as an academy prospect.

He made his first-team debut for Newcastle in September 2011, starting in the third round of the League Cup against Nottingham Forest, but he failed to make a single league appearance during his first year on Tyneside. His second year followed much the same path, and the now 22-year-old completed a short-term loan to Scottish side St. Johnstone for the second half of the 2012/13 season - making 12 appearances.

With first-team opportunities once again looking limited at the opening of last season, the youngster completed a second consecutive loan-deal away from St James’ Park, signing for Greek side Panathanaikos for the duration of the 2013/14 season. His spell in the Greek Superleague was a success, registering a tally of seven goals and five assists in 28 games, as well as helping the club win their first Greek Cup since 2010. He also scored two goals in four games in the Greek play-offs for the Champions League, but he was not part of the team when they were knocked-out of the competition at the third qualification round following a defeat to Belgian side Standard Liege.

Having returned to St James’ Park at the beginning of the current season, Abeid once again started on the sidelines, but, having made an impression during the Magpies historic 2-0 League Cup victory over Manchester City, the midfielder was awarded his first ever league start for the Toon - and he once again impressed in the 1-0 win over Liverpool.

With the North Eastern club flying high in the Premier League, Abeid revealed to the Chronicle that his loan move away from Tyneside has been the key part in securing playing time for his parent club.

He said: “A lot has changed. I’ve been out on loan a lot and I have come back here to have some time to play and show the manager and the club I can play for them. I am really happy.

“I knew I had to play football and that’s what I went to Greece. I got a lot of experience, I learned a lot and I came back with a strong mentality and a strong character. I have always been working and I’m happy about that.

“The manager said I have to keep doing what I’m doing but I have to concentrate, to work hard every day and I will get a chance. I had my chance last week, I try to do my best and it’s working so I am very pleased with that.”

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