Newcastle’s Senegalese midfielder Henri Saivet has rubbished claims of a lack of hunger for the sport, revealing he wants to tie down a regular spot for the club.
Saviet arrived on Tyneside from Bordeaux in 2016, but spent last season on loan at French side Saint-Etienne, where the 26-year old’s ambition came in to question by boss Christophe Galtier.
The Senegalese international has featured for Newcastle in the Carabao Cup this season and has been a regular in their U23 side. However, he has stated that he wants to force his way into the thoughts of Toon boss, Rafa Benitez, speaking of the “honour” of wearing the black and white jersey.
Saivet, speaking to Chronicle Live, said: “I want to play for Newcastle United.
“Whenever you pull on a Newcastle shirt it’s an honour. It’s a massive club and when you put the jersey on and get on to the pitch, you have to give 100 per cent – even for the reserves.
“It’s always good to play, make runs and contribute overall. I feel better and better so it was really good for me to get out there.”
In spite of the criticisms that Saivet received from Saint-Etienne boss Galtier, his statistics in Ligue 1 last season made for positive reading, completing 78% of his attempted passes and creating 22 chances.
“It always gives you the confidence you need. That is the most important thing in football. If you have confidence you can do whatever you want on the pitch. You have to work and keep going,” said Saivet.
“Not playing isn’t easy for a footballer. You have to work hard to get back in contention.
“If get my chance I will have to keep my place. I will try my best every time.”
Saivet also confirmed that Benitez has told him to prove what he can do for the club.
“I have to show him I can play in his team. He has told me to show what I can do and we need everybody in the squad so I will keep going.
“Maybe one day I will get my chance and show what I can do. I know there will be a chance.”