Last night it was confirmed that Newcastle United right-back, DeAndre Yedlin, will face 5 weeks on sidelines after a tear in his thigh has appeared worse than first expected.
Whilst Vurnon Anita will be expected to fill in for the injured American, his performance on Saturday will have done nothing to fill Newcastle fans with confidence in Yedlin’s absence. Fulham’s 16 year old wonderkid, Ryan Sessegnon, ran riot at the weekend, often beating the dutchman with ease.
While Anita cannot be blamed for both of Sessegnon’s goals on Saturday, he was in no mans land defensively for both of his goals. Don’t get me wrong, Vurnon Anita has generally done a solid job in the team this season, but given he has only recently returned from an ankle ligament injury picked up in January’s win at Brentford, he can’t be expected to start all 7 games DeAndre Yedlin is expected to miss during his 5 weeks out.
Here’s where Jesus Gamez comes in. A player I recently included in an article titled ‘mistakes in the transfer market’, Gamez, for one reason or another, has seen very little game time since arriving at St.James’ Park. His signing is said to have left Mike Ashley scratching his head – and you can understand why.
The 31 year-old has made just 2 league starts this term for The Magpies, but his latest came in last week’s solid but unspectacular 0-0 draw away to Reading, where he came in for Vurnon Anita. I was at the beam back of the game, shown at St.James’ Park that night and found Gamez to be quietly impressive throughout. He demonstrated composure and quality on the ball, made some timely interceptions and had a surprisingly long throw – a secret weapon which delivered dangerous balls into the box.
Given his last start was way back in November, it was a steady performance from the Spaniard, contributing to a clean sheet for the team and proving he has something to offer on the pitch.
It will therefore be interesting to see how he fares in the weeks to come, as I fully expect Benitez to hand him starts during Yedlin’s absence.
Maybe Jesus will be our saviour after all!