Antonio Barreca was not a marquee signing in January. Everyone was talking about Miguel Almiron, with 25-year-old costing a club record fee.

While Almiron has impressed since making his Magpies debut, Barreca has barely had a kick.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Since arriving, the left-back has made just one appearance. He came off the bench in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham, and didn’t really have any impact on proceedings.

Following the Spurs defeat, Barreca hasn’t been seen again. The 23-year-old hasn’t even been on the bench for the past four games.

Barreca absence isn’t a big issue

Signing Almiron was key. We needed creativity, and that’s exactly what he’s brought.

In contrast, Barreca was merely brought in as a back-up option. We didn’t lack quality on the left side of defence, what we lacked was depth.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Barreca’s arrival added that depth. But he arrived at a time when Matt Ritchie was making the position his own in Rafa Benitez’s 5-4-1 formation.

On top of that, Paul Dummett is back to full fitness. He came off the bench against West Ham, which saw Benitez revert to a back four.

The fact we haven’t seen Barreca is simply because we don’t have an injury crisis at left wing-back.

The Chronicle reported this week that the youngster has been available for selection, so Benitez obviously hasn’t seen enough from the Monaco loanee.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

While some fans will want to see what the new man is capable of, his absence isn’t an issue as long as Ritchie continues to perform.

He is there on standby if we need him.

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