Southampton receive major boost ahead of Newcastle United clash following recall of ‘leader’ from Aston Villa

Southampton have received a major defensive boost ahead of their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg with Newcastle United.

Nathan Jones has revealed he will have defender Jan Bednarek available for selection to face the Magpies after he was recalled from Aston Villa. Bednarek joined the Villains on-loan at the beginning of the season but featured just three times in the league before being recalled by the Saints.

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The Poland international was an unused substitute for Villa’s 4-0 defeat on Tyneside in October but, crucially for the Saints, he did feature in Southampton’s Carabao Cup Second Round clash with Cambridge United, meaning he is eligible to face Newcastle United on Tuesday after being ineligible to feature for Villa during their run in the competition. That game in August was Bednarek’s last appearance for Southampton.

Southampton defender Jan Bednarek following Southampton's Carabao Cup Second Round victory over Cambridge United in August (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Ahead of their clash with Newcastle, Southampton boss Nathan Jones revealed the reasons for Bednarek’s recall, highlighting his experience and leadership qualities as just two reasons for his return to the south coast.

Jones said: “We felt we needed a bit more experience in there. Little bit of a leader, a little bit more of a voice.

“With the greatest of respect, we’ve got some young centre-halves. Some are in their first season in the Premier League and it’s a tough league.

“We just felt we need a bit of experience, a little bit of aggression, a little bit of something in there. We could have gone out and signed someone new and left Jan but as someone who knows the players, someone who knows the billing, someone that has played in an aggressive team before, we felt it was a logical one.”