Mo Diame wants to reunite with his former Hull City boss Steve Bruce at Aston Villa, according to The Mirror (13th November, page 47).
And why wouldn’t he? Bruce is a manager who knows and trusts one of the most enigmatic midfielders in the English game – more so anyway than his current Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez seems too.
Since moving to Tyneside from Hull in the summer of 2016, Diame has been used as something of an afterthought by Benitez. Only one of his seven Premier League appearances this season have come from the start.
Thus, the report claims that Diame would consider working alongside Bruce at Villa Park if the opportunity arises in January. And it appears that the feeling between the pair is entirely mutual.
“We all knew from the moment we signed him that he’s a class act and he’s getting back to somewhere near where we think he is,” Bruce told the Yorkshire Post in February 2016 after Diame returned from a fractured knee cap to score a sumptuous winner for Hull against Ipswich.
“Because, let’s be fair, he’s too good for this division when he’s playing like he is.”
Former West Ham and Wigan ace Diame has never been the most consistent of players. Bruce, however, knows that the 30-year-old has real star quality in those boots – demonstrated best in Diame’s 30-yard screamer that sealed Hull’s victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the 2016 play-off final.
Villa supporters, however, could be forgiven for having their misgivings. From Tommy Elphick to Glenn Whelan, Villa have signed no shortage of experienced big names since their 2016 relegation, only to be left distinctly underwhelmed.