This 'new signing' that Newcastle United fans might not want to hear about

Eddie Howe has a few decisions to make at Newcastle United.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 6:00 am

One of them concerns Paul Dummett, a player he has long admired.

Dummett has not played a competitive game so far this season, having suffered a calf injury in pre-season.

However, the 30-year-old, restricted to just two appearances last year due to injuries, was as a left-sided centre-half late last season as the club pulled away from relegation trouble.

Dummett, in the final year of his United deal, was pictured back in full training at the club’s training ground yesterday – and his return is timely given the team’s defensive problems.

Howe believes that Dummett – who has made 238 Premier League appearances for Newcastle – has a role to play this season. Speaking earlier this month, Howe said: “He’ll be an important player – I’ve always liked him. His situation is he’s back out running with the physio, and sports scientist, on the grass, which is a great sign.

“I know he’s had a couple of setbacks in his journey back to full fitness. He’s through that now, and we can get him back to full fitness quite quickly. But I still feel he has a little way to go before he’s available for selection.”

Howe will have to make space in his 25-man Premier League squad if he’s to sign anyone in next month’s transfer window.

Paul Dummett.

United’s head coach could loan out a goalkeeper to make room – Steve Bruce, his predecessor, took the unusual step of naming four in his squad due to injury and illness – but one or more outfield players will have to be cut too in the event of multiple arrivals.

Dummett, having come through his rehabilitation, will be pushing to show he’s ready before Howe has to make a decision on that squad.

Newcastle fans dislike the phrase “like a new signing”, which was often used by former manager Alan Pardew when players returned from long-term injuries, but Dummett really would be like a new signing if he can prove his fitness.

And the decision on Dummett could yet be an easy one for Howe.

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