FC Nantes midfielder Mehdi Abeid.
David Vincent / AP / SIPA
Mehdi Abeid (28) has not had many injuries during his career, but they often came at the worst times.
The Algerian midfielder, who will find his training club (Lens) on Sunday at 1 pm, could have signed for example in 2017 in… Lyon.
This summer, a Saudi Arabian club showed an interest in the player, but FCN management preferred to keep him.
He has “no regrets”.
With Nantes, Sunday (1 p.m.), Mehdi Abeid (28) finds his training club, RC Lens.
The one in which the Algerian arrived at the age of 12 and that he did not leave for seven long years (2004-2011).
In the North, he did not play a single minute with the professionals.
He had, however, initialed his first professional contract at the age of 15.
Abeid has not forgotten this rather funny episode: “At 14, I went with my father to Chelsea for a week-long internship, without warning Lens.
The Lensois leaders learned about it because they called us and came across an English courier.
I remember I said I was having a wedding… ”
In London, when he was only 14, he trained with the Chelsea reserve.
“I remember I ate not far from Lampard and Drogba.
»On his return, Lens offered him a three-year contract which he accepted.
A reward that will never allow him to taste the elite with the Sang et Or. “In 2011, Daniel Leclercq [technical director] told me that he was not counting on me.
A few weeks later, he signed up for Newcastle.
Broken momentum in Newcastle due to toe
The beginning of a four-year experience (2011-2015) marked by two loans: a six-month one in Scotland at Saint-Johnstone (2013) then a one-season season in Greece at Panathinaïkos (2013-2014) during which he performs a magnificent exercise (10 goals and 7 assists).
“I'm not on the move, defends the player.
I am a competitor and I consider that when you are not playing, you are not improving.
"This is in essence what he explains in front of the assistants of Alan Pardew on his return to Newcastle in the summer of 2014." I am going to tell them that I can no longer play and that I must sell myself or terminate me!
They tell me to be patient and to wait for the Cup match against City in two weeks.
Against the Cityzens, Abeid did not miss his passing exam and finished man of the match.
"I chained ..." Until the big problem.
The midfielder breaks his toe in selection.
“I come back to Newcastle and at Burnley I play with a broken foot with an injection.
At the end of the match, I couldn't walk.
I was away for several months.
It put a damper on my experience at Newcastle.
Abeid is cut off in his tracks.
“I could have played the whole season there, I was confident.
I enjoyed my life there.
A phone call from Florian Maurice then a cracking knee ...
After a return to Pana (2015-2016), Mehdi Abeid returns to France, to Dijon.
Again, a knee injury occurred at the worst time in 2017. “One day, I am at a restaurant and I receive a call from an unknown number.
I keep the number.
I check after the meal on WhatsApp who called me and I see the photo of Florian Maurice!
My agents call me and say: "But why don't you answer? Lyon wants you!"
Very shortly after this phone call, one of Abeid's knees gave way, compromising a possible departure from Olympique Lyonnais.
"I am very religious and I tell myself that if it did not happen, it is because it should not be done, relativizes this father of two boys.
This summer, the career could also have taken another direction.
The Algerian international was dredged up by a Turkish club and especially a Saudi Arabian team.
“It crossed my mind to leave,” he says today.
Financially, it was not objectionable and it suited the club and me.
I went to see Franck Kita [deputy managing director of the FCN] and I told him about the offer.
I told him: "It's up to you to make the decision!"
He was adamant and told me he was counting on me.
A new false start seems to be perfectly digested by the Algerian.
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