Since arriving at Newcastle, Ki Sung-Yueng has barely featured in black and white.
The summer signing has made just two league appearances, starting in the 2-1 defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City.
In both games, the South Korean started alongside Mo Diame, who has been an ever-present for Newcastle. However, Ki has been nowhere to be seen in the past three games, not even making the bench against Arsenal and Leicester.
Despite his brilliant form last season, Diame has really struggled this time out.
The 31-year-old looks a shadow of his former self, unable to impose himself on games and dominate the midfield.
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Jonjo Shelvey also isn’t at his best, but it’s Diame who needs to be dropped.
We’ve seen that a partnership of Diame and Ki doesn’t really work, but we know our number four has previous experience with Shelvey.
The pair played alongside each other at Swansea, and appeared to have a good understanding.
If Ki were to play with Shelvey, we might be able to control games better, and make better use of the ball. While we’d lose Diame’s energy, it might be a risk worth taking with results showing no signs of improving.
An injection of something is needed, and a change in the middle might do just that. Isaac Hayden has proved he can’t be trusted, Diame is out of form, while Shelvey’s talents mean he can’t be dropped.
Ki is the man that deserves a chance. In the games he’s played, Newcastle have been on the back-foot. Therefore it’s hard to know how good the 29-year-old really can be for the Magpies.
While Manchester United will be another tough game, at least we might be able to get on the ball a bit more with Shelvey and Ki.
It’s time for Rafa Benitez to trust his summer signing and make a big change to his side.