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20180703 Massadio Haidara.jpg

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Haïdara joins RC Lens

Written by Tom Easterby

Former Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara has completed his move to French side RC Lens.

The 25-year-old, who left St. James’ Park earlier this summer, has penned a three-year deal with the Ligue 2 outfit.

Haïdara returns to his homeland after a five-and-a-half year stay on Tyneside. He joined the Magpies from Nancy in January 2013, becoming one of five French players – along with Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mathieu Debuchy – to arrive that month.

The left back went on to make a total of 54 appearances in black and white, with his final outing for the club coming in May’s 3-0 win over Chelsea on the final day of last season.

A handful of other former United players are on the move, too, with midfielder Jack Hunter linking up with National League side Gateshead. Hunter was a regular in Newcastle’s under-23 team last season, and will now look to further his career under the guidance of Heed boss, and ex-Magpie full back, Steve Watson.

Callum Williams, meanwhile, had two spells on loan at Gateshead last term, but has now joined National League North outfit Spennymoor Town ahead of the upcoming 2018/19 campaign.

Another of last season's under-23s team, Callum Smith, has penned a one-year deal with Championship side Hull City. Newcastle will travel to face winger Smith's new club at the KCOM Stadium in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, 24th July (7:45pm kick-off).

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