Early on in Eddie Howe’s tenure at Newcastle United, it appeared that Emil Krafth would struggle to get in the starting XI. They signed Kieran Trippier in January and Javier Manquillo would then be the second choice.

However, injuries to both Trippier and Manquillo saw the Swede get an opportunity. Since Manquillo’s return, the £5million (BBC Sport) man has managed to keep him out.

Krafth’s recent performances at right-back have certainly been the best we’ve seen from him at the club. With the arrival of Howe and the options ahead of him, some fans will have thought he would’ve fallen to the wayside.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Newcastle’s victory against Wolves was the best we’ve seen from Krafth

The 27-year-old was given the nod to start for the Magpies against Wolves. They came out on top with a 1-0 win thanks to a Chris Wood penalty.

However, Krafth was one of the stand-out performers for Newcastle. He was solid at the back and offered himself going forward too. The Swedish international was constantly overlapping and providing options for Miguel Almiron who replaced Ryan Fraser early on.

He joined the Toon in the summer of 2019 from French side Amiens. He really struggled to make an impact at right-back for the club. At times he was played at centre-back in a back three for Newcastle.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It’s just another example of what Howe has done to turn Newcastle around this season. Whilst the Toon have benefitted from new arrivals in January, the players who were already there have also improved.

Krafth can now be added to the long list of players who look much better in black and white. It gives Howe the perfect dilemma – he wants to have his players battling it out for places in the starting XI.

Trippier is expected to be back at the end of April. He will likely be the first choice, but, should the Swede keep up his form, it might not be so straightforward for Trippier to reclaim his place in the starting XI.

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