Mohamed Diame reveals his surprising view on midfield competition at Newcastle United in wake of Sean Longstaff injury
Mohamed Diame’s wished Sean Longstaff a speedy recovery – even though he has the most to gain from his absence.
Longstaff suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham United.
The 21-year-old midfielder – who left the London Stadium on crutches – is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s home game against Everton.
“It’s sad for him, because he was doing very well,” said Diame, who replaced Longstaff at the break. “From the first training session he had with us, I knew he was a talented player. He showed it.
“It’s sad to lose him. I hope it’s not so bad and we have him back soon.”
Rafa Benitez, United’s manager, also has fit-again Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng competing for places in midfield.
“I’m not like I was when I was 22 and I was upset with competition,” said Diame.
“I’m here. I want to play, of course, like everyone, but the most important thing right now is to stay up and to get our points and make sure all the fans we’ve got at home can come back next season and enjoy the Premier League.
“That’s the most important thing at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Diame could leave Newcastle in the summer – even if he triggers a contract extension.
Diame’s three-year deal at St James’s Park expires in the summer, but the midfielder is close to triggering a one-year contract extension.
However, the Gazette revealed last month that the 31-year-old favours a two-year extension, and the club’s hierarchy may be unwilling to give him such a deal because of his age.
And Diame could yet leave Newcastle in the summer in search of a longer contract.
“The club know my position,” said the former Senegal international. “I’m focused on what this club needs to stay up – that’s the most important thing. They know I want to stay, but it’s not about me, it’s about the club and what they want to do.
“I’m focused on the job of staying up. There will be time in the summer to think about this. If I can stay, I will stay, but if I have to go, I will go.”