Javier Manquillo may have scored a brief equaliser at Old Trafford on his first Premier League appearance since April, but Jacob Murphy deserves a recall against Leeds United.
Steve Bruce started Manquillo at right wing-back against a Manchester United side with a returning Cristiano Ronaldo and the likes of Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba all in the starting line-up.
It was understandable that Bruce opted for a more pragmatic approach against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
But against Leeds at St James’ Park on Friday, Bruce needs to set his side up with an attacking intent right from the first whistle.
Recall for Jacob Murphy
Unlike Manquillo, Murphy, as a natural winger, wants to get involved and contribute to Newcastle’s attacking side of the game.
Although Newcastle are going to be coming up against a Leeds side that have also not won this season, the Whites put seven goals past Bruce’s team across the two Premier League games last season, so their poor current form should not mean they are underestimated.
However, Newcastle are at home and also in dire need of points, so the onus has to be on Bruce to think how his team can hurt Leeds.
Murphy already has a goal and an assist to his name in the Premier League this season, both of which have come in Newcastle’s two home games. He can pose a threat alongside Joe Willock, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Across the two games at St James Park, the 26-year-old has had five shots on goal (WhoScored).
If Joelinton is selected up front, Murphy has the energy to get up and down the right flank and produce the type of crosses that Callum Wilson craves for the Brazilian.
Although he will be coming up against Jack Harrison, Murphy has shown he has the tackling abilities to thwart wingers.
He’s currently averaging 2.8 tackles per game and in his last game in front of the Newcastle faithful, the former Norwich City man made six tackles.
Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds very rarely opt against their bold approach, but Bruce needs to match his next opponent’s attacking ambition. Recalling Jacob Murphy at wing-back could prove to be a rewarding move for Steve Bruce.