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Ciaran Clark hasn't featured for Newcastle United since he tarnished the club's mid-season tour of Saudi Arabia last January

Ryan Sidle

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Ciaran Clark hasn't featured for Newcastle United since he tarnished the club's mid-season tour of Saudi Arabia last January

Newcastle United player Ciaran Clark hasn't played for the club for around a year, following an incident during a friendly in Saudi Arabia.

Newcastle have surprised everyone this year and become serious contenders to finish in the top four places in the Premier League much quicker than anyone would have expected.

It's less than 18 months ago that they were bought by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, whilst they sat worryingly close to relegation.

With Eddie Howe's management, and some excellent investment in the transfer market, the club are now amongst the favourites to qualify for next season's Champions League.

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The Magpies are also only two games away from winning their first piece of major silverware since 1955, after beating Southampton in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

Everyone was having a great time of it for Howe's side, especially Jacob Murphy as he waved off Duje Caleta-Car, following the Saints players' red card.

One Newcastle player who isn't having such a good time though is Clark, with the defender being sent on loan to Sheffield United.

He hasn't appeared for his parent club since last January, after being involved in a scuffle during a friendly in Saudi Arabia, in which he was sent off.

The 33-year-old tarnished the game when he threw a punch at Al-Ittihad opponent Abdo Hamdallah in front of dignitaries in the Middle Eastern country.

A fight between the two clubs breaks out after Clark's punch. Credit: Twitter
A fight between the two clubs breaks out after Clark's punch. Credit: Twitter

The match took place behind closed doors, apart from those who were invited to attend, but footage of the incident later leaked online.

Hamdallah was also sent off for the incident and the English club claimed after that their player had been 'somewhat harshly shown straight red.'

But on arrival back in the country, Clark found himself out of the team completely, having featured in 13 games before the mid-season to the Middle East.

Clark is now on loan at Sheffield United. Image: Alamy
Clark is now on loan at Sheffield United. Image: Alamy

The side Clark are on loan to are currently second in the Championship, five points behind league leaders Burnley but 13 points clear of third.

They look pretty good for an automatic promotion place and jumping back into the Premier League, although it's far from decided at this point.

Newcastle are currently third, three points clear of fifth place Tottenham Hotspur but with a game in hand over Antonio Conte's side.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Newcastle United, Premier League, Sheffield United, EFL Championship

Ryan Sidle
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