In a cruel twist of fate, Javier Manquillo started his second game in a row on Wednesday night.
With Paul Dummett injured and Matt Ritchie suspended, the Spaniard was tasked with playing left wing-back against Everton. And he had a tough job on his hands, up against the tricky Ademola Lookman.
Manquillo has never looked comfortable in a Newcastle shirt. The defender arrived in 2017 after a loan spell at Sunderland, where he struggled as well.
Despite Rafa Benitez’s best efforts, the 24-year-old still isn’t up to standard, and sticks out like a sore thumb every time he plays for Newcastle.
Mixed night for Manquillo
Things were no different on Wednesday evening.
The wing-back was energetic to begin with, getting forward with purpose. Defensively, he was suspect at times, but had some positive moments.
As always, there were a few hairy moments as well, which have become common place when Dummett isn’t playing, further highlighting our need for another left-sided defender.
When Dummett is out, we’re basically dicing with death. And some fans weren’t impressed with his performance, once again.
Manquillo looks like a competition winner out there #nufc
— stephen johnson (@jonnersnyc) December 5, 2018
Clark on at half time instead of Manquillo perhaps? Naturally left footed and they are causing problems at set plays. I don’t see anything in Manquillo to justify being a PL footballer #Nufc
— Kevin Nichol (@Kevin_Nichol) December 5, 2018
What I’ve learned so far: We’re a bit sloppy, but got our tactics right. Atsu looks hungry, Fernandez is a life saver and Manquillo would do better on loan at Gateshead #nufc
— LP (@____LP____) December 5, 2018
However, this does not tell the full story. Some Toon fans were pleasantly surprised by the performance from the former Liverpool defender.
Aye Manquillo did Alreet but he’s bound to have the odd decent game , Rafa’s coaching him .
— ⬛⬜Swampy⚽NUFC⬜⬛ (@swampthing_71) December 5, 2018
— Gary Willis (@GaryWillis1711) December 5, 2018
Happy with that Point !! #NUFC thought manquillo played rather well
— ⬛◻Dan Evz◻⬛ (@DannyEvz) December 5, 2018
Regardless, most people will agree that the full-back is not first-team quality. He is an example of the tight purse strings at Newcastle, with Benitez having to shop in the bargain bin for players he can rely on.
The Spaniard is a nice option to have as he can play on both the right and left of defence, but he’s hardly inspiring on either side. The sooner we get some investment the better, as Manquillo is always an accident waiting to happen when he trots onto the pitch.