By Will Butcher
Newcastle may have dropped a team selection hint ahead of Saturday’s clash against Rotherham, after Massadio Haidara was left out of their Under-23s side.
The former Nancy defender has been playing for the reserve side to gain fitness after almost a year-long nightmare with injury.
However, Haidara has not been named in the squad to face Swansea’s reserve side on Friday afternoon.
Newcastle revealed the team news on their official Twitter account prior to kick-off, with no mention of Haidara’s name.
Haidara, who joined the Toon in January 2013 for £2million, injured his knee in training and went under the knife in November 2015.
He made a return to action last week against Sheffield United’s reserve side, as the Blades secured an impressive 2-0 victory against Peter Beardsley’s side.
It remains to be seen if Haidara is able to break his way into the Toon’s first team, with Paul Dummett and Achraf Lazaar both able to play at left-back.
Newcastle’s number 19 has two years remaining on the five-year deal he signed in 2013, after impressing in Ligue 1 for Nancy who have just gained promotion back to the top-flight.
Making his debut at just 18, Haidara went on to make 51 league and cup appearances in two and a half years before moving to Tyneside.
Before the injury, Haidara made 49 appearances in all competitions and will be remembered for being on the receiving end of a horror tackle from winger Callum McManaman.
In other Newcastle team news, this senior attacker has been axed.