Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez has picked up another injury.
According to Eddie Howe today, the Argentina international has ‘a very slight side strain’, and will potentially miss a week to 10 days.
Fernandez has very much struggled for minutes this season.
Under Steve Bruce he was bizarrely left out of the matchday squad for a handful of games, with Graeme Jones also overlooking him during his time as caretaker manager.
Fernandez then got himself back in the picture under Howe, but has only made two appearances under the new manager so far.
He missed seven games over the Christmas and New Year period with a thigh injury.
And now, Fernandez has this new knock, meaning he’ll miss tomorrow tonight’s game with Southampton, the weekend game with Chelsea and next week’s clash with Everton.
Fernandez actually agreed a new contract with Newcastle last year, and that deal expires next summer.
But it would very much be a surprise if he reached the end of it at this point.
The South American is now 33 years of age, and it appears to be struggling to retain his fitness.
That is a real shame, as he has been a really good servant for the club down the years.
It is also a shame considering Howe has actually really sang his praises since he came to the club. Following his performance against Norwich City back in December, he called him ‘an outstanding player’ and ‘the ultimate professional’.
It’s time for Newcastle to move Federico Fernandez on this summer
He has been a great player for Newcastle since his £6 million move from Swansea (BBC Sport). But the time is right for the club to move Fernandez on at the end of the season.
It would perhaps be a different story if his fitness record was perfect. Keeping someone like him around would potentially be good for the dressing room.
But Newcastle can’t be sentimental.
Newcastle have the means to seriously improve their backline in the summer. And it just wouldn’t make sense to allow Fernandez to see out the final year of his contract.
It would be best for all parties as well, because Fernandez just wouldn’t see many minutes at all next season.