Rafa Benitez reveals how he may plug defence after DeAndre Yedlin injury

Rafa Benitez has revealed that he may have to reshuffle his defence should injuries take their toll.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 8:47 am
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 10:41 am
Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles (left) reacts after a challenge from Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies (right) during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle..

Newcastle are already set to be without Florian Lejeune for the majority of the season after he underwent surgery, while there are now fresh doubts over Deandre Yedlin after he left St James’s Park on crutches following the opening day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Deadline-day signing Federico Fernandez wasn’t part of Benitez’s squad to take on Spurs, having only taken part in one training session with his new side prior to the game, but could now be called upon with Javier Manquillo the only full-back cover for United.

Benitez wanted cover at left-back as well as centre-half before the transfer window shut.

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“That [protection from injuries] was the main thing behind the decision to bring in Fernandez,” said Benitez.

“If you have him, maybe you can go Clark, you can protect Dummett or there is Manquillo who can play on both sides.

“We were trying to bring in someone with experience in the Premier League who could cover.”

“The position in defence [that he wanted] was a centre back and left back,” he added.

“The number ten is another position but if you can’t have everything then at least make sure that you protect yourself with experience and with the level to compete in the Premier League.

“To lose Lejeune before and now we see what happens with Yedlin, it’s not ideal.”