Javi Manquillo is a player we desperately need against Crystal Palace this weekend.
The Spaniard was sensational last time against the Eagles, keeping Wilfried Zaha quiet throughout. He’ll be Palace’s danger man once again on Saturday, but Newcastle will need to find a different way of stopping him.
Manquillo has been pictured back in training, but Steve Bruce has confirmed to BBC Newcastle that his return is at least a week away.
“He’s out on the grass,” Bruce told BBC Newcastle.
“So, let’s hope a week, 10 days [until he’s fit] – and that’ll be probably be edging towards six weeks [injured], which we expected at the time.”
This is certainly a blow.
While it seemed very unlikely that Manquillo would be fit in time for the trip to Selhurst Park, his unavailability will certainly hinder the Magpies.
Valentino Lazaro was somewhat unconvincing defensively at the Emirates, while DeAndre Yedlin has struggled to handle Zaha in the past.
This would have been the perfect game to welcome Manquillo back into the fold, but it looks like it has come too soon.
Newcastle’s defence fell apart against Arsenal, and they can’t afford another collapse against Roy Hodgson’s side. Whether it’s Yedlin or Lazaro, whoever starts on Saturday must be switched on against Palace’s talisman Zaha.