Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe must turn to Federico Fernandez against Norwich City tomorrow – with captain Jamaal Lascelles suspended.
The Magpies lost again on Saturday, this time to Arsenal.
Howe was present on the touchline for the first time since becoming manager, after his recent positive Covid test.
But he could not inspire a first win of the season against the Gunners.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli helped the hosts to a 2-0 win, and the result just underlined what a massive job Howe has on his hands.
Newcastle are next in action tomorrow against Norwich City, which is an absolute must-win.
It is a quick turnaround, so several changes will likely be in the offing.
Howe will be forced into at least one change in defence, with Lascelles picking up a yellow card in the 63rd minute of the game against Arsenal.
Him wiping out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earned him his fifth booking of the campaign, so he’ll be suspended against the Canaries.
The situation presents a perfect opportunity for Howe to recall a player lots of Toon fans have been clamouring for.
Fernandez has not played for Newcastle since the defeat to Wolves at the start of October.
He actually hasn’t made a matchday squad since the Tottenham Hotspur game on October 17.
With Newcastle now the outright worst defensive team in the division, it’s surely time for him to come back into the fold.
Howe must now turn to Fernandez at Newcastle with Lascelles suspended
Fabian Schar has come back into the picture under Howe.
It’s now time for the same to happen with £6 million star Fernandez, who is arguably the best defender at the club.
His lack of minutes has been a bit of a mystery.
The player is not injured, and it has been hugely frustrating to see him not involved and the likes of Emil Krafth, Ciaran Clark and Lascelles all playing regularly, and poorly at that.
Newcastle need someone to take a bit of responsibility. Recalling the experienced Fernandez is surely the best course of action.