It is Paul Dummett’s birthday today and he has turned 28-years-old. The club have issued the following tweet for the occasion.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 26, 2019
Paul is enjoying a lengthy spell in the first-team at the moment. He has put in some top performances on the left side of Newcastle’s back three. However, with the return of Florian Lejeune to training yesterday, the local lad could have to work even harder to keep his place in the side.
Newcastle are not starved for choice at the back. The core group of defenders is the strongest the club have had in their recent history. However, it is the depth at the position that is the most impressive. With six quality players battling it out for three spots, it is good problem for Steve Bruce to have.
Former Newcastle defender and current Gateshead manager Mike Williamson spoke to the Chronicle about Newcastle’s crop of central defenders. This is what he had to say:
“It is a headache for the manager but it’s a good one to have. I think they all have the right ingredients to play that three.
“You can have the freedom to step in when it opens up and play, and they’re all very comfortable on the ball. I think they all defend first as well.
“I think it is strong, and you could argue they would walk into a lot of Premier League teams as well, which proves the level of players that Newcastle have got.
“Newcastle is a huge club, and the more competition you can have for places then the higher you’ve got to be personally to earn the shirt. It’s a fantastic situation for the club to have.”
We have seen the benefit of playing with a back three in the outstanding performances of Fabian Schar. Fabian has the ability to bring the ball forward and having players like Paul Dummett as cover allows Fabian this freedom. Florian Lejeune is also very good on the ball so his return will provide plenty of options for Steve Bruce.
Williams also spoke about Dummett during his interview. Mike was at the club when Paul first came into the first team. This is what Mike had to say about his former teammate.
“Dummy, the style of player he is, has always been that kind of unsung hero.
“There’s been many of them, and I don’t think some people saw the value he brought to the team.
“I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed playing with him, he knows what he’s about and he does what he’s strong at and he does it well.
“People like that, I couldn’t be happier they’re getting the praise and rewards they deserve. He works very hard and I always know from my time there the players like himself might not be on the teamsheet week in, week out.
“But whenever you need a result and characters with honesty and desire, he will be the first one on the teamsheet.”
The competition for places is definitely heating up at Newcastle. In addition to Florian Lejeune, Matt Ritchie will likely be back next month. Allan Saint-Maximin also appears to be fine after his appearance against Brighton. DeAndre Yedlin is getting close to a return as well.
With these players, among others, coming into contention for places, Bruce will have a lot of selection headaches. However, it will provide a wealth of options for the head coach who has been so limited in his selections so far.