Newcastle started this campaign short on players who could play on either wing. While they added Allan Saint-Maximin, they only had Matt Ritchie, Christian Atsu, and Miguel Almiron in the ranks.
It was not a big issue to start the season as Steve Bruce played without wingers in a 3-5-2 formation using his wing-backs for width. However, that formation was tossed after a poor showing at Norwich City.
In its place, Bruce went with a 5-4-1 that saw some improvements and has gradually gotten better. However, with Allan Saint-Maximin out until mid-January and Matt Ritchie also sidelined until next year, what would Bruce do if either Christian Atsu or Miguel Almiron get injured.
If that were to happen, we would be in a bit of a jam on the left. Bruce could move Jetro Willems forward and then use Paul Dummett as a wing-back.
However, that would not play to Dummett’s strength and would hurt our attacking threat.
On the right, we would be slightly better off as DeAndre Yedlin could push forward with Javier Manquillo as the wing-back.
There’s also the option of using Joelinton or Yoshinori Muto out wide as they have played in the past. Though both are definitely not wingers.
Tom Allan– scored two penalties last night
A final option, though one born of desperation, would be to draft in a youngster from the reserves. We have quite a few wingers that Bruce could pick from.
Twenty-year-old Tom Allan has been in top form for the U-23s this season. The right-winger was named by Lee Ryder last month as one of two young Magpies who could step into the first team in a pinch. The other was defender Lewis Cass who made the bench in the Tottenham win to close last season.
Another youngster who is a possibility if Newcastle are out of other options is 21-year-old Victor Fernandez who has been great in spurts this season. Fernandez could play on either wing but is still working his way back to full fitness after missing almost all of last season through various injuries.
A final option from the U-23s is twenty-year-old Rosaire Longelo who can play on the left-wing. Longelo has scored twice this season and could also be an emergency option at left wing-back.
We are certainly not in an ideal position at the moment and are very vulnerable if either Almiron or Atsu are forced to miss any games.
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