Paul Dummett should start at centre-back for Newcastle v Leeds
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Paul Dummett should start at centre-back for Newcastle v Leeds

Newcastle United take on Leeds United this Saturday in an important clash for the Magpies. With concerns in defence, head coach Eddie Howe should let Paul Dummett start at centre-back.

The local lad returned from injury last weekend against Watford in an underwhelming 1-1 draw. Dummett, 30, was one of the few positives to take from the game, and he should play once again – in a slightly different role.

A consistent theme for Newcastle this season is that they’re very vulnerable at the back, especially the centre-halves. With pretty much all the possible pairing options tried out, there’s one player Eddie Howe has not tried at central defence.

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With his experience and versatility, Dummett would put in a shift at centre-back

Newcastle has often opted to go with Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar as the centre-back pairing. But Lascelles especially has been vulnerable to mistakes. Schar isn’t perfect by any means, but of the two he would start over the Magpies skipper for me.

Dummett would fit in nicely alongside Schar. The ex-Welsh international has played this position many times and looks confident there. The 30-year-old always puts in a solid shift when he plays for the Toon Army. He keeps it simple and is solid defensively.

A lot of this does rely on if Jamal Lewis is fit enough to start. He was on the bench last weekend. This would then allow Dummett to make the transition into centre-half. If Lewis isn’t able to, then he should be kept at left-back, as Matt Ritchie would struggle against the pace Leeds have to offer out wide.

Federico Fernandez is another player I think deserves to start at centre-half, but it’s unknown if he’s fit enough to play. When he’s back perhaps a pairing with Dummett might be something to consider in the future.

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Should Jamal Lewis be ready to start this weekend, then Dummett should slot in at centre-back. He’s someone that always brings comfortability and assurance in the defensive line.

Additionally, Lascelles has had many chances this season and simply just doesn’t look as good as he used to. Unless Fernandez is back, Howe should start with Schar and Dummett against Leeds.