The midfielder admits it was he who drove the decision to cut ties two years ago.
“In Newcastle, I thought my career was screwed up. I went home in the evening, I found my partner and I dared: ‘That’s it, it’s over’,” he recalled.
“I did not play for Newcastle, I went to a club and lost myself. No one was counting on me. My phone was not ringing anymore, I had my family and my partner left. And I decided to take the bull by the horns.
“I said, ‘I’m going back to Marseille and I’m going to impose myself’. And that’s what happened. Other clubs offered me better status? Yes, a better status, a salary three times larger … But I wanted to impose myself in Marseille. As I had been a failure before Marseille, I wanted to show everyone that it was a mistake.”