It has been a frustrating week on Tyneside for Rafa Benitez, but the Newcastle boss has been handed a big injury boost ahead of Sunday’s game at Swansea, with The Chronicle confirming that Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin are back and available for selection – with Shelvey also back from a ban.
Yedlin was ruled out for 2-3 weeks at the start of August after suffering a hamstring injury whilst Lejeune hasn’t been seen since suffering ankle ligament damage thanks to a dangerous tackle from Tottenham’s Harry Kane on the opening day of the season.
Javier Manquillo hasn’t done badly at right-back thus far so I am unsure as to whether Yedlin will come straight into the team in his place. With Dummett still out, there’s a chance Yedlin comes in at right-back, with Manquillo going to left-back (a position he has played many times before).
Lejeune impressed over pre-season and did well during his short time against Spurs. He looks to have a touch of class and could bring an air of calm to our defence, so I expect him to return to the side on Sunday.
Jonjo Shelvey is now available for selection after serving his 3-match suspension for his stamp on Dele Alli on the opening day. It remains to be seen whether Benitez will recall him against his former club.
I’d be inclined to give him a chance in the number 10 role – despite his efforts Perez so often scuppers attacks and goes missing – but it may be fair to start Shelvey from the bench. He certainly does not warrant a place in the midfield ahead of Hayden or Merino who were superb against West Ham.
With Yedlin, Lejeune and Shelvey available for selection, what team would you like to see Benitez field on Sunday?