Date: 10th August 2018 at 6:00pm
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Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez confirmed that the club’s latest signing Federico Fernandez will not be in the squad for the Magpies’ Premier League opener on Saturday against Tottenham.

The Spanish manager has decided not to include the defender in Newcastle’s squad for the club’s lunchtime clash with Spurs after only joining the club on Thursday afternoon.

“We have more or less everybody fit,”┬áBenitez said on Friday, as quoted by Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder on his personal Twitter account:

“Federico Fernandez is fit but he is not in the squad tomorrow. He came late and needs to get to know everybody.”

Fernandez arrived at the Tyneside club on Deadline Day after signing from Championship side Swansea City. Although the centre-back is fit, Benitez is cautious that the Spaniard has not little time in getting to know his new team-mates properly.

OPINION

This is an appropriate decision by Benitez as Fernandez has had under 48 hours to meet his new team mates. Risking the Spaniard against a strong Spurs side could spell danger and it wise that he is not included in order to avoid what would be a difficult debut. The fully-fit defender has linked up with his former coach once again, after Fernandez worked under Benitez whilst at Serie A side Napoli. The 29-year-old has four years of Premier League experience after featuring for Swansea before departing the Swans after the club’s relegation from the top flight last season. With the long-term injury of Florian Lejeune, Fernandez was a much needed addition for the Magpies, with a lack of recognised centre-backs in the first team squad. Once the Argentine is given the green light to play by Benitez, Fernandez will add strong experience after earning 72 caps for his national side and provide competition for defensive places which will please the United manager.