What’s the story?
According to Steve Bruce (via The Chronicle), Federico Fernandez could return for the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers on February 27th.
The stoic Argentine central defender has missed the last seven games as a result of a thigh injury and, while tomorrow’s trip to Manchester United comes too soon for him, the 31-year-old should be available next weekend.
“Feddy has trained (on Thursday) and the day before, for the first time,” said Bruce in his pre-match press conference.
“Unfortunately, Man U will be too quick for him.
“He’s been a month with his calf.”
Why is this such good news?
So, to have a key player returning and hopefully playing a big role in what’s to come has to be seen as good news. With the Magpies now needing to scrap for every point, being able to call on a defender as resolute as Fernandez will be a major boost.
According to WhoScored, no one has averaged more in the way of clearances per game than him (5.6) while his 1.3 blocks over the same period speak to a man capable of putting out fires at the last minute. Indeed, Fernandez is also a palpable goal threat having scored twice and assisted as many last season which, while not exactly a huge tally, accounted for roughly 10.5% of the team’s overall Premier League tally of 38.
With Callum Wilson out for the foreseeable future and no one looking convincing in terms of replacing him, Newcastle simply have to find more sources of goals and Fernandez certainly has proven to be one in the past.
Finally, some good news.
Newcastle face a fight to keep Fulham at a comfortable distance and still have to play Scott Parker’s side at Craven Cottage, so it’s imperative they start to get key players back into the team.
There’s still a lot of work to be done but, with Fernandez in tow, the team will look even just a little bit stronger.