Rafa Benitez reveals the position he’s been trying to strengthen at Newcastle United for THREE years

Fabian Schar, right.
Fabian Schar, right.

Rafa Benitez doesn’t plan on using Fabian Schar as a makeshift midfielder in the Premier League.

The defender impressed in a midfield role in the club’s FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.

Obviously, Dummett is injured, so we have to find a solution in this position and we’ve been looking for a left full-back for three years. Hopefully, we can find one.

Rafa Benitez

Benitez, without a number of midfielders, fielded Schar out of position at Ewood Park.

United’s manager, however, would rather the Switzerland international played in defence.

“No, he’s a centre-back,” said Benitez, who could have midfielder Mohamed Diame back for this afternoon’s home game against Cardiff City.

“We were practicing for a couple of days in this position. In Germany and with his national team he played in this position. I knew he could play there.

“In a game like this where we play 4-3-3, we could play this way. He’s not a midfielder who can play with mobility, but he can stay there and pass the ball. After we changed again – 4-4-2 in the second half.”

Winger Matt Ritchie, meanwhile, has been fielded as a left wing-back in recent Premier League games.

“I said before that I try to maximise what we have,” said Benitez.

“Obviously, Dummett is injured, so we have to find a solution in this position and we’ve been looking for a left full-back for three years. Hopefully, we can find one.

“(Javier) Manquillo can play there in a line of four and we can play Ritchie in a line of five, because he’s not a full-back. As a wing-back, he has energy and he can keep the width of the pitch. He has some positives and some negatives, we know that.”