Newcastle United and Henri Saivet have not been a match made in heaven.
While we all remember that amazing game he played against West Ham, that was his only real positive performance in a Newcastle shirt.
He was signed in January 2016, arriving alongside Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend as Steve McClaren’s side went in search of survival. Of course, it ended with relegation.
And with Rafa Benitez at the helm, the Spaniard clearly didn’t fancy Saivet. The midfielder had loan spell after loan spell, making just the odd appearance for the Magpies during Benitez’s tenure.
But now that Rafa has gone, could Saivet be another player set to get another chance? The likes of Jack Colback and Achraf Lazaar are back in the fold, although they didn’t impress against Wolves on Wednesday.
Saivet is having a great summer away from Newcastle
Whatever the future holds for Saivet, he could return to the North East as a national hero. He is currently on international duty with his native Senegal, ready for a major final.
The Lions of Teranga are in the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where they will face Algeria tonight. After missing the opening game of the tournament, Saivet has played in every match since for Senegal.
They beat Tunisia in the semi-final, and the Newcastle midfielder was almost the hero. With the scores at 0-0 with 10 minutes to go, he had the chance to score from the spot, but fluffed his lines.
The game went to extra time, where Senegal eventually won 1-0 to book a final date with Algeria and spare the 28-year-old’s blushes.
Saivet might not have a future at Newcastle, but he should return full of confidence if his country win the biggest prize in African football tonight.