Newcastle United's Mehdi Abeid has work to do if he wants to play behind the strikers

Newcastle United's Mehdi Abeid has been speaking about playing an alternative role.

In a recent interview with the Sunderland Echo, Newcastle United midfielder Mehdi Abeid admitted that he liked a position the St James’ Park faithful were yet to see him in.

Speaking about his previous loan spell at Greek side Panathinaikos, the 22-year-old said, “In Greece I played behind the strikers, but here I’m playing more defensively.

“I like both roles, so wherever the coach wants to play me, I will do my best.”

Abeid must have done something right in his alternative role on loan, as he scored 10 goals and provided six assists in 38 appearances. But does his form this season suggest he could be a viable option to play further up the field for John Carver’s side?

His current position means he was always going to have to utilise a different skill-set, but if he does have eyes on a new position, he has plenty of work to do.

The Premier League is a very different environment to the one where he found the net on a regular basis, and a quick look at his statistics so far this season show he has some way to go before convincing that he could be an effective number 10.

  Passing AccuracyGoal AssistsKey PassesShotsOn-target Shooting AccuracyDispossessedAccurate Through BallsDribblesAppearances
Mehdi Abeid 82% 0 1 8 13% 3 0 8 9

The Newcastle youngster may have had eight shots in the league this season but his on-target shooting accuracy of just 13 per cent leaves a lot to be desired. 

He is also yet to score or assist while he has played just a single key pass in nine matches. 

That said, he has only been dispossessed three times and that ability to keep the ball bodes well if he is ultimately pushed further up the field.

There is no doubt Newcastle have found a gem in Abeid, but for now it seems he is far more effective in a deeper position.

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