Newcastle United supporters have been pretty quiet in recent times after seeing their side suffer a ninth Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with newly-promoted Wolves at St James’ Park having lost just one of their preceding six games, with their tally of 11 points in that time moving them out of the bottom three. Yet the Magpies suffered a seventh loss of the campaign at home on Sunday in going down 2-1 to Nuno Espirito Santo’s team, with goals from Diogo Jota and Matt Doherty either side of an Ayoze Perez equaliser sealing all three points for the visitors.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Newcastle fans up and down the country in recent times, although several are looking ahead to the rest of the season with some optimism given many of the club’s summer signings are beginning to get into their stride.
Midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng is one that definitely falls into that category following his move from Swansea City on a free transfer, with Benitez’s rewarding call to land the 29-year-old very much showing the Swans the error of their ways.
Ultimately, the South Korea international made the move to Swansea back in 2012 after a three-year spell at Celtic, and he certainly did his bit for the South Wales outfit with 162 appearances for the club in his six-year spell at the Liberty Stadium, scoring 12 goals and laying on 11 assists in the process.
And with at least 30 appearances in all competitions in all but one of his five full seasons at the club, having spent the 2013/14 campaign at Sunderland, it’s clear that he was a vital member of the squad at the Liberty Stadium, and as such played a key part in helping them establish themselves as a Premier League club.
Yes, Ki wasn’t able to inspire Carlos Carvalhal’s side to safety in the top-flight last season, but he more than proved his capabilities in the top tier during his time at the club, which begs to wonder why the Swans let his contract run down ahead of its expiry in the summer of 2018.
Had they managed to tie him down to a longer deal much earlier, he may well have stayed for their Championship adventure under Graham Potter, or they may have been able to demand a fee for his services – a fee he’s certainly worth such have been his Premier League endeavours.
Instead, Benitez and Newcastle came in and lured him to the North East, which is a move that is proving very rewarding indeed given Ki has been a regular in the Magpies side in recent weeks, thus becoming an integral member of the squad at St James’ Park.
He may have failed to feature in seven of their opening nine Premier League games this term, but since then the 29-year-old has been a regular with five successive starts for the Magpies, in which time he has helped the club to two wins and a draw to move away from the bottom three.
And with impressive displays against Bournemouth and Burnley in that time, as well as laying on the crucial assist for Perez in their 1-0 win over Watford back in November, Ki is beginning to deliver the goods for Benitez’s side – it is proving to be a very rewarding call from the Newcastle boss.
And having lured him to St James’ Park for absolutely nothing during the summer, the Magpies are very much showing Swansea the error of their ways.
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