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Mo Diame has made unprecedented improvement

He not only made it difficult for Benitez on the team sheet, he made it difficult to remember a time he wasn’t this good.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

He’s just been so good. And he’s certainly proven himself to Newcastle United fans. But more importantly, he’s proven himself to the man who matters the most on Tyneside: Rafa Benitez.

A year after retiring from international football to focus on his club form, Mo Diame has been a revelation. He’s created chances, his passing has been on point, and he’s been deadly in midfield. Makes it hard to remember that when Rafa was hired, Diame was struggling to put himself on the team sheet.

After the club’s win over Manchester United, he has newfound confidence, but wants to remain realistic, and is starting to be a voice for the team.

With this result we go there confident. Every game we play we are going there to win. It doesn’t matter who we play against, we need to keep our shape and the way we are working hard in training and in the game.

“The win over Man United gives us a lot of confidence. This was three points not a lot of people were expecting us to take - but we need more wins.

The problem with Newcastle United is that they’ve strugled to get wins up to this point. And now it falls on them to prove that this win against United wasn’t a fluke. It was real progress in the fight for safety, and the eventual goal of higher table finishes.

Diame’s got the skill and he’s got the mindset, and is miles further from where he was a year ago. And luckily, Benitez has taken notice.