Will Aston Villa regret not seizing Mo Diame chance amid improved Newcastle form

Villa boss Steve Bruce reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 20, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Newcastle United midfielder Mo Diame reportedly offered himself to Championship giants Aston Villa back in the Autumn.

Newcastle payer Mohamed Diame in action during the Premier League match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor on October 30, 2017 in Burnley, England.

Back in November, Aston Villa fans made it very clear that they did not want Mo Diame in claret and blue.

The Mirror (13 November page 47) reported that the Senegalese midfielder was keen to reunite with his former Hull City manager Steve Bruce at Villa Park in the January transfer window.

At the time, Diame was out of favour at Newcastle United and, when he had made a rare appearance for the Magpies, hardly made a positive impression. So Villa fans were unsurprisingly united in saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to Diame’s advances.

Mohamed Diame of Hull City celebrates scoring the first goal during Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final match between Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2016...

But if the former Wigan Athletic and West Ham United powerhouse was in this kind of form back in the Autumn, perhaps Villa supporters would have been more open to the idea of Diame moving to the Midlands.

The 30-year-old has turned his fortunes around and is now one of the first names on Rafa Benitez’s team-sheet. He has started each of the last five Premier League games and scored in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with relegation rivals Crystal Palace.

Diame has even edged ahead of the highly-rated Mikel Merino and last season’s star man Jonjo Shelvey in the Newcastle pecking order.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

And Benitez, who has fielded Diame in his favoured deep midfield role this season as opposed to last season’s ill-fated number ten experiment, admitted to the Chronicle that he is probably playing the best football of his Newcastle career.

While Villa are doing fine themselves right now, and are in with an excellent chance of automatic promotion from the Championship, a dynamic and forceful Diame in this kind of form would have come in very handy.

After all, it was Diame’s Wembley wonder-goal that catapulted Bruce’s Hull to the Premier League back in 2016.

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