Riviere has yet to score a league goal for Newcastle since his summer transfer from Monaco, but that has not stopped head coach John Carver confirming his starting role for the Magpies this weekend to the Chronicle.
Carver admitted: “He’ll play, he will will start this weekend because he deserves to. He ran himself into the ground for us last week. When I took him off I wasn’t sure whether the boos were for him or me. I need 11 players who are going to do for me what he did for me last weekend.”
Frenchman Riviere has endured a tough debut season on Tyneside, netting two goals in the League Cup, but failing to have a real impact in 24 games following his summer transfer from Monaco.
He looks both off the pace and far from the quality required in the Premier League, and his struggles have been a real disappointment considering the reputation he arrived at St James’ Park with.
Despite not scoring, Riviere, 25, has featured a lot since Carver’s appointment as interim boss, with Papiss Cisse suspended and Ayoze Perez as the only other attacking force.
Riviere may be struggling to score, but that is not through lack of trying. He is consistently running the channels in the final third, and his high pressing work rate is great foil to the more technical Perez alongside him.
It is unfortunate that he has yet to score a Premier League goal this season, and on current form he will probably end his debut campaign without hitting the back of the net again. However, his performances have done much to suggest that he is good enough for Newcastle, and Carver has made a bold - and correct - call to confirm his starting place this weekend.