One player who has come on recently has been our Spanish right-back Javier Manquillo. Manquillo has found it very hard to get a run of games since he joined the club in the summer of 2017 from Atletico Madrid.
He started off decently in our first season back in the Premier League where he was able to get a run of games at both left and right-back. His performances were solid if not spectacular. However, he ended up losing his place and spent the majority of the second half of his inaugural season as an unused substitute.
His second season saw more of the same as he failed to nail down a starting spot to begin the season. He had a string of games in December but he was primarily cover for both full-back positions.
Javier Manquillo– taking advantage of his opportunity
Then in early April he replaced DeAndre Yedlin in the squad and got a run of four games playing a little more forward in the right wing-back role. It was the best we had ever seen Javier Manquillo play in a Newcastle shirt.
He took that form into this pre-season and was one of the stand-outs. This past game against Arsenal, we thought he was solid though the wing-backs often had to play from very deep.
With DeAndre Yedlin still recovery from groin surgery and not expected to return for another month, Manquillo has taken advantage of his first-team opportunity.
However, there is another name at the club that Javier will have to contend with. That is our new right-back Emil Krafth who just joined the club this past Thursday.
When asked in an interview on NUFC TV about the increased competition at his right-back position, this is how Javier responded:
“Whenever you have someone who makes you compete for the shirt. It’s much better for the team because that means that you always need to be alert.
“Competition is always going to improve the squad so that can only be a good thing.
“What every footballer always wants is to be playing regularly and so I always work as hard as I can to be ready and available for the team and to always be able to help them out.
“They are settling in nicely, and it’s up to us to try and give them as much help as possible in this so that they can adapt to the football here as quickly as possible.
“They really are great players and they are going to be absolutely great for us moving forward.”
This is a great attitude by the Spaniard who has had his spells in and out of the side. However, it is up to him to maintain his current performance levels to retain his starting spot. At just 25-years-old, he is maturing and coming into his prime. He will hopefully only get better.
? @javiermanquillo feels the competition for Newcastle's right-back spot following the arrival of Sweden international Emil Krafth "can only be a good thing."
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 14, 2019