Five names in the frame to replace Paul Dummett at Newcastle
Rafa Benitez is short of a left-back at Newcastle United '“ but that doesn't mean he's short of options.
Paul Dummett is doubtful for the club’s visit to Turf Moor after suffering an injury on international duty with Wales.
Achraf Lazaar, Benitez’s only other specialist left-back, was frozen out last year.
And United’s manager didn’t have the funds to sign another one in the summer transfer window.
So who will line up against Burnley on November 26 if Dummett – who is being assessed on Tyneside this week after returning Cardiff – is unavailable for the Premier League fixture?
Javier Manquillo, a right-back, has his critics.
However, Manquillo, signed from Atletico Madrid last year, didn’t too much wrong on his last start against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Dummett was missing because of a hamstring problem, and Manquillo put in a solid performance in the club’s dramatic 3-2 defeat.
Benitez could again turn to the 24-year-old.
Kenedy, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, has played at left-back on a number of occasions.
However, the 22-year-old – who has come into form after overcoming a difficult start to the season – is needed further up the field.
Benitez doesn’t have too many match-winners in his team, and Kenedy, surely, will be fielded on the wing.
Another option would be to play a five-man defence with Kenedy as a wing-back.
Benitez has the personnel to field three central defenders, and Kenedy would suit the system.
Ciaran Clark – who has recovered from a recent thigh injury – is another candidate to play at left-back.
The centre-half has often turned out in the position for Newcastle.
Clark has been kept out of the team by the form of Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar, and he will be keen to help any way he can.
Fabian Schar, signed from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer, impressed at centre-half in the victories over Bournemouth and Watford.
With captain Jamaal Lascelles in contention to return to the starting XI against Burnley after recovering from a shoulder injury, Schar, comfortable with the ball at his feet, could be switched to left-back.
Lazaar hasn’t played a senior game in more than a year – and a first-team recall is unlikely.
The 26-year-old has trained with Benitez’s senior squad, along with a number of the club’s Under-23 players, over the international break to make up the numbers.
Has Lazaar, frozen out by Benitez last year, impressed Benitez? Maybe, though it’s worth noting that Benitez rarely , if ever, changes his mind after coming to a decision on a player.