According to the Chronicle, Newcastle would be willing to listen to offers for Ciaran Clark in January if Florian Lejeune returns to fitness.

The French defender has missed the whole season so far due to injury, but is reportedly ahead of schedule during his rehabilitation.

Lejeune was key last season, forming a brilliant partnership with captain Jamaal Lascelles.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

However, Lejeune’s fitness is not the only thing that should influence a move for Clark.

Left-back replacement needed before Clark goes

While he is naturally a centre-back, Clark is capable of slotting in on the left side of defence.

Naturally left-footed, the Republic of Ireland international has featured in that position a few times for Newcastle. And with a lack of options available, the Magpies would be naive to let him go.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Paul Dummett is first choice, and is backed up by Javier Manquillo, who is coincidentally the backup right-back as well.

Clark’s versatility makes him a valuable member of the squad.

He has fell down the pecking order at St James’ Park, but his ability to play left-back gives him an advantage.

We should only let the former Aston Villa defender leave the club if we can bring in another left-back.

Lejeune’s return will mean we are well stocked with centre-backs, but we still need cover on the left.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Clark was a key player in the Championship, forming a brilliant partnership with Lascelles. And at times, he’s done a job in the Premier League, but there are better options at the club.

Bringing in another left-back and allowing Clark to go and play some football would improve the squad, but letting him go without a left-sided replacement would be another risk not worth taking.