Haidara Sets Sights On Senior Cap
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United FC
Injury has ruled Massadio Haidara out of France Under-21s' Toulon Tournament but the full-back wants a senior cap in the future
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Massadio Haidara is disappointed to be ruled out of France Under-21 duty through injury, but believes he is at the right club to achieve his senior international ambitions in the not-too-distant future.
The full-back moved to Tyneside in January from Nancy and has impressed with a number of assured, attack-minded displays down the left flank in both domestic and European action.
Haidara was pencilled in to travel with France Under-21s to the national Toulon tournament, which is taking place now, where he would have come up against Colombia, United States and South Korea amongst others.
However, a hamstring injury sustained against Liverpool at the start of May sidelined the 20-year-old for the final three games of the season, as well as the competition in his homeland.
But he is keen to be called upon again - when fit - and has set his sights on a senior cap as well.
"I've already been lucky enough to play for the under-21s last year, so already have a bit of experience there," Haidara told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview.
"It is an honour to be called up. Unfortunately, with my injury I won't be able to play this summer, but I hope to be able to be called up again next time they have a selection.
"Representing my country is something I really hold close to my heart. It brings you a lot of experience which can only benefit you at club level as well.
"Changing club in January was something that made me alter my personal objectives, because playing here in the Premier League - and for such a big club - may put me in the limelight a little bit more. It may give me the experience necessary to push up to the next level.
"My immediate objective is to cement my position in the Newcastle team, play as many games as possible, and then hopefully if I can climb those steps one at a time I can get up to a full cap for France."
Although he has been sidelined by the hamstring complaint, Haidara sees no reason why he will not be back amongst his teammates when pre-season training gets underway at the start of July.
"Everything should be fine," he insisted.
"I have been going through treatment and it has been improving all the time.
"We now have the holidays, which gives me a great chance to rest it up and I am relying on being back on the first day of pre-season, ready to go again."