Steve Bruce was “extremely disappointed” by Ki Sung-yueng’s display against Leicester last month and that might not bode well for the midfielder’s future as a Newcastle United player.
Ki, 30, has started only one match for the Magpies this season when he played 74 minutes of the 3-1 defeat to Norwich in August.
The South Korea international has since made two appearances off the bench and one was when he came on at half-time in the 5-0 hammering at the hands of Leicester at the King Power.
According to the Northern Echo, Magpies boss Bruce was not at all happy with the lack of impact that Ki had in that match.
The former Swansea midfielder was by no means the worst player that Newcastle had on the pitch at Leicester as he still completed 88 per cent of his passes – only two starters had a higher percentage – and made a total of 23 passes, which was only nine fewer than Sean Longstaff, who completed the entire 90 minutes [WhoScored].
However the Northern Echo’s report shows Ki to be in Bruce’s bad books for a lacklustre display in the East Midlands, and that could be problematic.
Matty Longstaff’ made his first Premier League appearance before the international break and he scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win against Manchester United.
The Longstaff brothers were super impressive in that match and are likely to be called upon once again when Newcastle travel to London on Saturday to play against Chelsea.
That means that Ki could now be set for a spell on the sidelines, cast aside by Bruce for his poor display at Leicester.
And if Ki isn’t playing, how is he going to earn a new contract.
Ki’s £40,000-a-week [Spotrac] deal expires at the end of the season and surely the Magpies are going to avoid renewing terms with a player who is not featuring in the first-team.
Rafa Benitez signed Ki on a free transfer last year following his release from Swansea but it seems as though it might be a case of deja vu for the midfield next summer as at the moment, it does seem as though he could be released by Newcastle too.