Steve Bruce has three options now at right-back with the return of DeAndre Yedlin from sports hernia surgery in May. Yedlin made his season debut on the right-wing as a substitute for Miguel Almiron this past Sunday. It was his first action since early April.
Both Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth have underwhelmed in their opportunities this season. While Krafth is still getting accustomed to the English game, he’s had issues containing the threats that come his way. He struggled immensely on Sunday against Leicester City and in his previous start against Liverpool. Though, many right-backs would struggle against the league leaders.
Javier Manquillo has two starts this season. He was decent against Arsenal in the opener. However against Brighton at St James Park, the Spaniard had a very poor game especially in the first half where he was easily bypassed by Brighton attackers.
DeAndre Yedlin– saw his first action since April on Sunday
DeAndre Yedlin got close to 20 minutes in his return at Leicester. Though he had a thankless job coming on at 4 nil and a man down, it was still good to see the 26-year-old back on the pitch.
Speaking to nufc.co.uk, Yedlin reflected on the Leicester performance and his long awaited return to the team:
“It was not the best circumstance but it was great to be back out on the pitch with the boys. At that point I came on, obviously you’re trying to do your best and try to get something but it’s also good to get back out there and back in the frame of playing again.
“It’s been a very long and frustrating journey and although it’s not the exact point I’d like to come back but it was good to be back out there.
“The fans were excellent. Even when we were behind, they were still singing. It goes to show why they are some of the best fans in the league. They will support us, no matter what is going on and we appreciate them staying behind us.
“I’m sure the fans are frustrated but we’ll need all of them to be behind us. They are a tough team to play against. No game is easy in this league so I’m sure the boys will be ready and be sure to bounce back, showing the fighting spirit that we’ll need to have and have shown for as long as I’ve been here.”
We think Yedlin could get a start on Sunday against Manchester United. However, we hope that Bruce reverts to a back three. We are not convinced with Yedlin at right-back in a back four.
We’ll also have to see if Jetro Willems will be fit for this weekend. He missed the Leicester match with a knee problem. Having both Yedlin and Willems as wing-backs would give Newcastle needed pace down the flanks. With three at the back, they will be able to play higher up the pitch and still have the pace to recover.
Newcastle need to get bodies forward when they are in possession. Having Yedlin and Willems provide pace and width could help with Newcastle’s counter-attacks.
We’ll have to see what Bruce has in store for us this weekend. The last two performances have been dreadful so let’s hope it’s not three in a row before the international break.