Date: 27th September 2019 at 2:23pm
Written by:

OPINION

Newcastle United duo Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth are surely looking over their shoulders after Steve Bruce namedropped DeAndre Yedlin while explaining the Magpies’ disappointing start to the season.

The Magpies boss was asked about his side struggling to score goals and their current 17th-placed position in the Premier League and stressed that injuries have stopped him playing the team he’d like to see.

Bruce namedropped Yedlin and Dwight Gayle when explaining who he hasn’t been able to utilise, and surely that has Manquillo and Krafth worried about their teammate returning to full fitness.

“In my opinion after a couple of months and six games in, with the injuries we’ve got, we haven’t really played our full…well the subs last week was first change we could make to the forwards when Andy Carroll and Saint-Maximin came on,” said Bruce on BBC Radio 5 Live (8:37am, Friday, September 27th).

“So we haven’t had the chance to put the team together that I’d like to see, Yedlin is one, Dwight Gayle is another one who has been out all seasons, so there are players I haven’t even see perform on the training ground yet.”

Yedlin is yet to feature for the Magpies this season after undergoing surgery, he shared a post-surgery picture on his Instagram, on a groin problem which he picked up in training before the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool in May.

Yet the right-back will likely be able to play his first game of the season soon seeing as his latest Instagram post celebrated being back in training, and the fact Bruce mentioning him clearly means he rates him.

This means time is running out for Manquillo and Krafth to lock down the position of right-back as Yedlin will be at least given a chance to feature based on Bruce’s remarks.

Yedlin averaged 1.9 tackles per game across his 29 league outings in his 2018/19 campaign, averaged an impressive 2.4 clearances per match but despite this lost his place in the Magpies’ starting line-up before the season ended. (Source: WhoScored)

Yet when you consider Manquillo and Krafth haven’t knocked it out the park this season, the American flyer is easily capable of becoming Bruce’s first-choice right-back.

Manquillo has featured four times in the league, two of those outings coming from the bench, and while he has averaged 1.8 tackles per game he has only achieved a rating of 6.54 for his efforts. (Source: WhoScored)

Whereas Krafth has only managed to average 1 tackle per game, though has averaged 3.3 clearances per match, across his four league outings and has only got a very low 6.27 average rating for his efforts. (Source: WhoScored)

So you have to believe the pair are worried about Yedlin’s imminent return as it seems Bruce is already planning on using him.