To say that Mo Diame is a divisive figure would be an understatement. Some fans can appreciate his ability to tackle and to offer a physical presence in the middle of the pitch, but others are frustrated by his inconsistency on the ball.
The signing of Ki Sung-Yueng on a free transfer from Swansea in the summer led many to believe that the South Korean would be selected ahead of the Senegalese, especially as he played alongside Jonjo Shelvey when the pair were at the Welsh club.
During that 2014/15 campaign, the pair struck up a good understanding. Ki scored eight goals while Jonjo scored three and provided six assists. It was a fruitful partnership. On Twitter, some are keen to replace Diame with the new summer addition:
Think Diame needs to be dropped tbh, no matter who comes in. He’s been terrible in possession and lost it so many times, Has to be Ki and Shelvey for me. Can’t be any worse!
— Paul Whyte (@Chalky_Whyte) 19 August 2018
Ki for diame after diame first 2 games his passing isn’t up to it at the minutr gives the ball away a lot
— Simon Dixon (@SIMONNUFCDIXON) 20 August 2018
Diame clearly struggling. Has been lost the ball too close to our goal in both games
— Mitch Lindsay (@mitchlindsay3) 19 August 2018
Yes. Although Diame’s improvement has been marked, Ki is different class and looks after the ball a bit better. Would like to see him given a start. Early days yet #NUFC
— Dean Burns (@deanoburns) 19 August 2018
Shelvey and Ki knows each other well from their Swansea days. After Diames performances Ki needs to be starting for now on
— Michael (@MichaelNUFC9) 19 August 2018
I want to see Ki play alongside shelvey , Diane gave ball away too much at Cardiff although he did some gd tackling
— jimmy kelly (@xskye69x) 19 August 2018
Others don’t believe that our no.10’s exploits last season should be so easily forgotten:
Diame is a beast, need him for his strength, i thought he played quite decent against Tottenham but just about everyone was poor against Cardiff
— ????⚽ ▌▌▌Frankie ▌▌▌⚽???? (@franktastic9) 19 August 2018
No keep it the same
— Davey G (@daveyontheg) 20 August 2018
So stop playing the midfield pairing that did so well last season after two games….
— Kev (@venison_barry) 19 August 2018
It’s an interesting debate. Personally, I believe it depends on our opponents. I would have stuck with Diame against Cardiff due to his physicality. However, against opponents who may sit back against us at home, Ki would be the better option for me.
His passing range is decent, and he was brought in as a replacement for Mikel Merino so it would be good to see how he performs compared to the Spaniard.