Is the Newcastle United midfielder really that bad in training?
Back in January, Newcastle United made a splash in the transfer market by signing four players as they attempted to avoid relegation from the Premier League. But while Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey have played their part and Seydou Doumbia is clearly lacking match fitness, Henri Saivet has somewhat inexplicably slipped out of contention.
The midfielder arrived at St James’ Park having played 178 times for Bordeaux, including 27 times this season, but after featuring only four times for Newcastle – for just 147 minutes in total – he has spent the last four matches as an unused substitute.
When Vurnon Anita continually starts for Newcastle, you could not blame their fans for wondering just how bad Saivet must be performing in training to be consistently overlooked.
After all, here is a player who featured regularly in Ligue 1, scoring 23 goals and providing 12 assists while at Bordeaux and representing Senegal at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
With a French league title also under his belt, surely this was exactly the type of player Newcastle needed to take them forward, and yet it seems not on early evidence and unless things change under new manager Rafa Benitez Saivet may wonder if his fate will be similar to that of Florian Thauvin.