Newcastle United duo Jamaal Lascelles and Yoshinori Muto are closer to a return to action, according to a reliable journalist.
Chris Waugh – who is a Magpies reporter for the Chronicle – revealed via a Q&A session with the newspaper that Lascelles is “close” to being involved, but says there is more chance of him being named on the bench rather than the starting XI.
He reveals that the same goes for Muto, although Waugh says that the Japan international is not as close as Lascelles in making a return to action.
“Lascelles, meanwhile, is “close” to being involved – and I think he has a good chance of making the squad, though I suspect as a substitute rather than a starter,” he said on the Q&A (28/11, 12.40pm).
“The same applies to Yoshinori Muto as well, although Lascelles is closer to a return than the Japan striker.”
Having this pair closer to a return to action will no doubt be a boost to Benitez as it means that his squad will have more depth. However, it is safe to say that they have not struggled with either player not being in the team – especially in Lascelles’ case, where Fabian Schar has stepped up to the plate incredibly well, causing a selection headache for Rafa Benitez. It looks like Benitez will not risk starting Lascelles, which means thar Schar is likely to retain his place against West Ham after playing a part in the win against Burnley. As for Muto, Salomon Rondon has been excellent, although the same could not be said for Ayoze Perez – he has been largely inconsistent recently. Benitez would welcome his return more compared to Lascelles, but either way, their imminent returns will surely boost the morale of the team.