Matt Targett has not started a Premier League game since September, and Eddie Howe has now admitted that the Newcastle defender is ‘pushing’ to return.
Targett has endured a frustrating season after joining Newcastle permanently. He lost his place in the side to Dan Burn, then suffered a heel injury that kept him out of action for almost two months.
But the 27-year-old is back now, and has been part of Eddie Howe’s squad in the previous three games. He has made just one appearance since his recovery – a three minute cameo in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.
The left-back will be keen to get back into the starting XI, and will no doubt be intrigued to see that Howe is suddenly starting to rotate more. He made five changes against Wolves, but kept Targett on the bench.
His time will come, and now the Toon boss has commented on how well Targett has trained following his comeback from injury.
Eddie Howe very pleased with Matt Targett following Newcastle return
Ahead of the game against Nottingham Forest, Howe spoke to the media. He was asked about Targett possibly starting for the Magpies.
“He is pushing,” Howe told the Chronicle.
“He has trained very well since he has came back to full fitness. He’s been really consistent. He is pushing and he is a top quality player.”
Targett’s time surely isn’t far away
Since the turn of the year, there have been times that Burn has looked uncomfortable at left-back. That came after playing brilliantly at the back end of 2022.
But Burn has been able to retain his place in the side despite Targett’s return to fitness, and was excellent in last week’s 2-1 win over Wolves. The 30-year-old kept Adama Traore and then Pedro Neto at bay, despite both players possessing the tools to really hurt Burn.
However, Targett is surely going to get a chance soon. He will be desperate to start, especially with increasing speculation that Newcastle will sign a left-back in the summer.
Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney has been heavily linked, while there have also been rumours about Renan Lodi – who Newcastle opted against signing to bring in Targett.
The former Villa defender will be very keen to start again, and prove to Howe that he can be the Magpies’ long-term left-back.