Rafa Benitez weighs up recall for Newcastle defender against Tottenham
Rafa Benitez is considering making changes for Newcastle United's final game of the season '“ with Daryl Janmaat pushing for a recall.
Janmaat hasn’t featured since suffering groin and hand injuries early last month.
But the defender, linked with a summer moves to Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli, could come in at right-back for Vurnon Anita, who has been carrying an injury.
Benitez and his staff will assess Anita’s fitness before deciding on their starting XI for tomorrow’s match against Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park.
The relegated club’s manager – who, unusually, is holding his pre-match Press conference today – is also weighing up recalls for Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Janmaat has recovered from the groin problem that forced him off against Southampton.
The 26-year-old feared the hand he fractured punching a door in frustration after the game at the St Mary’s Stadium would keep him out for the rest of the season.
Janmaat, an unused substitute for last weekend’s goalless draw against Aston Villa, has had surgery and he has been passed fit to play will the aid of a protective cast.
Mitrovic and Perez, substitutes at Villa Park, are other contenders to come into Benitez’s starting XI against Maurcio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
However, 20-goal forward Adam Armstrong, back from a season-long loan at League One Coventry City, will not be involved.
Tottenham need to take a point from the game, which is being officiated by Wythenshawe-based referee Anthony Taylor, to guarantee second-place and to avoid qualification for the Champions League.
Meanwhile, United midfielder Moussa Sissoko has told of his mixed emotions after getting named in France’s Euro 2016 squad 24 hours after the club’s relegation.
Sissoko’s joy at being included in Didier Deschamps’ party for the tournament, which is being staged in France,was tempered by the “immense disappointment” of Newcastle’s relegation from the Premier League.
“I am proud to be going to the Euros,” said Sissoko.
“It’s a dream that is being realised, but that does not erase the immense disappointment of being relegated.
“There is joy and frustration at the same time.”
Sissoko was handed the captain’s armband at United by Benitez last month.
Club captain Fabricio Coloccini, sidelined since February with a calf problem, will not be involved against Tottenham.
Pochettino this week signed a new long-term deal at White Hart Lane.