Cheick Tiote made it no secret that he wanted to leave Newcastle United, but he seems to have made a U-turn, according to the Chronicle.
The impending arrival of Steve McClaren seems to have given Tiote a new lease of life with the Ivory Coast star seeming to have changed his ways.
Tiote has made 118 appearances for Newcastle United, scoring just the one goal in that famous 4-4 draw with Arsenal.
Article continues below
Tiote has made somewhat of a polarising star in the Newcastle team after signing from FC Twente where he actually played under Steve McClaren when he was first at Twente.
He signed from the Belgian team Anderlecht in 2008, he left Twente to go to Newcastle in 2010.
Article continues below
Since arriving at Newcastle he has had a love/hate relationship with the fans as he doesn't always play very well. He has a tendency to slack off in some matches and it annoys the Newcastle fans to great extent.
When he plays well, he is a rock in the midfield and the Newcastle fans love it. When he plays badly though, he gives the ball away in stupid areas and keeps making errors that quite often lead to Newcastle conceding.
This infuriates the fans as they know how well he can play, but when he plays badly it makes him looks like he isn't even trying. As a result of this, some Newcastle fans love him but some hate him because of this inconsistency.
His best ever game for Newcastle was when they beat Manchester United 3-0 at home two years ago. He played the perfect game as he was a brick wall in the middle of the park. Man United didn't know what had hit them, he didn't miss a tackle and his passing was first class.
These are the performances which make the Geordie nation love him, however he followed this game up with an absolute stinker. This inconsistency isn't good enough and is the reason why he is so polarizing.
Cheick Tiote isn't exactly what you would call a goal machine, scoring just 5 times in his entire career, including international matches. This isn't quite good enough in my opinion for a central midfielder, any other central midfielder should be getting around three to five goal per season.
There is no reason why he should be any different. Yes, he is a holding midfielder but Nemanja Matic of Chelsea scores goals, Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United scores goals, even Jack Colback, his current team mate, scores goals. He should not be getting a goal every three or four season, this is ridiculous for a holding midfielder.
Do Newcastle need him?
The question people need to ask is this, Do Newcastle actually need him? I think not. He isn't an integral part of the team and can be easily replaced by somebody who has more consistency, for example, Jack Colback. Colback played in the Tiote role last year and was arguably the teams most important player.
He controlled the game from a deep lying midfield role and sprayed the ball around fantastically, earning him the nickname 'The Ginger Pirlo.' He made crucial tackles in every game and it's fair to say that without him last season, Newcastle would have been relegated.
He even weighed in with a few goals. So for me, Newcastle do not need him as he has already been replaced. He should move on with his career.
Where should he go though? There has been talk of Arsenal maybe wanting him to strengthen their midfield, even Chelsea and Man United have been linked, but any of these clubs would be a mistake for his career and for the team that buys him.
You need to have a consistent level of performance to get anywhere near any of these clubs starting elevens, Tiote doesn't have that and will struggle big time with any of these clubs; he will very swiftly become a forgotten player.
He needs to go to France. The French Ligue 1 is perfect for a player like Tiote, he will be one of the best players in the league, without a shadow of a doubt. The quality of the league is quite poor so he should stand out quite a lot.
A team like Saint Etienne or Lille of France would be a perfect move for Tiote. This is where I can see him going to be honest, unless he becomes a rejuvenated player under McClaren.
He has next season to prove himself or risk becoming 'the guy that scored that goal once.'