Four Newcastle players who could replace Joe Willock vs Watford amid injury fears
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Four Newcastle players who could replace Joe Willock vs Watford amid injury fears

Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock has been pictured wearing a protective boot this week, leading to fears he may miss Saturday’s game against Watford.

According to Daily Mail reporter Craig Hope, the protective boot is a precaution for a left foot injury and there is no serious damage such as a break.

However, in a gallery of training pictures released by the Magpies Willock failed to feature in any of them.

So with it looking increasingly unlikely that Willock will feature at Vicarage Road, who could Steve Bruce bring in to replace the former Arsenal midfielder?

Fabian Schar

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

The Swiss international could earn a recall at centre back which could allow Isaac Hayden to be pushed forward into midfield alongside Sean Longstaff.

It’s very unlikely that Bruce would do it, but he does have the option of putting Schar in midfield too.

The 29-year-old hasn’t featured in the last two games after starting back-to-back games against Aston Villa and Southampton.

In the two league games Schar started, he received a booking in each. If he came back into the side it would likely be alongside Jamal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark.

Federico Fernandez

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

After starting the first three Premier League games, Fernandez hasn’t featured since the international break.

Similar to Schar, a Fernandez recall would mean that Hayden could play in his natural midfield position.

The Argentine looks to be out-of-favour at the moment and his lack of pace may count against him for the clash against a speedy Watford forward line.

Jeff Hendrick

Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland international has only played six minutes of Premier League football this season, but that did come at Old Trafford when he replaced Willock.

Out of the four options, a Hendrick recall probably looks the least likely but you never know – he may get the nod.

The former Burnley man hasn’t started a Premier League game since March and looks to be on the periphery of the Newcastle first team.

Ryan Fraser

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

After making a quick recovery of his own despite being pictured on crutches and wearing a protective boot, Fraser is the most adventurous option to replace Willock.

And after asking the Newcastle coaches to teach him how to play as a number 8, now could be the time for the Scotland international to show that he can do for a job for the Magpies in midfield.

The former Bournemouth man has the energy to get forward like Willock but does he have the same defensive discipline that the 22-year-old has regularly shown this season?

Similar to Hendrick, Fraser’s last top-flight start came in March. Willock’s injury provides Bruce with yet another selection headache, and it will be interesting to see who replaces the club’s only senior summer signing, if he isn’t deemed fit enough to play on Saturday.