Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles is set to be out of action until 2020, after picking up a ligament injury during the early stages of the win against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Magpies are well-stocked with centre-backs to cope during that time, and there are also a number of candidates to wear the skippers’ armband during that spell as well.

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We look at the leading candidates to take of the captain’s role over the next few weeks, and give you our opinion on who it should be.

Fabian Schar

Schar was in superb form this season, before he was sidelined with an injury which has seen him miss United’s last three games.

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Steve Bruce had thought it was a minor issue, and had hoped he would just miss one game, but it has not worked out as such, and the Swiss international has been withdrawn from the national squad to continue his recuperation.

The defender is expected to be ready for Newcastle’s game at Aston Villa, however, and if Bruce wants a skipper that leads by example, Schar could be his man.

Martin Dubravka

The Slovakian goalkeeper has been a fantastic signing, following his initial loan spell, and his form has seen him rewarded with a six year improved contract, which he signed just a few weeks ago.

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He is a big voice on the pitch, with him constantly barking orders to his defenders ahead of him, and as a senior figure at the club, he has the qualities to lead the side.

But it is often difficult to marshal a team for a whole game from inside your own penalty area, and as such, I have never been a fan of having a goalkeeper as skipper.

Jonjo Shelvey

Shelvey has stood in as captain for Newcastle before, but his situation has changed now, and would be an outside candidate for the role.

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His place in the starting lineup is not secure enough to install him as skipper, and neither has his recent form or attitude.

 

He is likely to be left out when  Sean Longstaff returns, and with his future still up in the air, he is surely not a realistic option.

Matt Ritchie

A constant talker on the pitch, Ritchie would be quick to let his teammates know what needs to change and what is working well.

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He is also something of a mentor to younger players, as Sean Longstaff mentioned recently, and as such, could be the ideal player to put an arm around the younger members of the side when mistakes happen.

If he is fit for the Villa trip, and handed his starting role back, he must be a strong candidate to lead the team out.

Isaac Hayden

Hayden is only 24, but is a clear leader on the football pitch, and has all the qualities needed in a skipper.

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Being a midfielder means he is always in and around the play, and as a result, will be on-hand constantly to offer advice and instructions.

He would, for me, be the outstanding candidate to be interim captain of Newcastle, and it would be a fitting turnaround for a player whose career on Tyneside looked all but over just over a year ago.

Newcastle are trying to get Hayden to sign a new deal, and what better incentive than having him wearing the captain’s armband, and reassuring him that it could be his permanently in the future.

For me, Hayden should be the player to lead the team out at Villa Park, and for the games that follow in the coming weeks.

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