As revealed by the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez is now considering handing the captains armband to either Federico Fernandez, Ki Sung-yueng or Martin Dubravka on Monday – with Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett looking set to miss the game.
The story also highlights that Matt Ritchie is a player who’s been offered the chance to captain the club in the past, however he has rejected Rafa’s approach in order to ‘concentrate on his own personal performances’ according to Lee Ryder.
Here’s a snippet from the Chronicle’s piece, which discusses Rafa’s options with vice captain Paul Dummett ruled out and club captain Jamaal Lascelles a doubt for tomorrow’s trip to Burnley.
‘Rafa Benitez may have to appoint a new captain for Newcastle United’s trip to Burnley.
‘The Magpies will be without Paul Dummett, who wore the skipper’s armband in the win over AFC Bournemouth, while Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles remain doubtful.
‘It remains to be seen whether either of Benitez’s two key men even make the journey to Lancashire.
‘Were Shelvey or Lascelles to miss out, Benitez would have to consider either Federicio Fernandez, Ki or Martin Dubravka as skipper.
‘Matt Ritchie has been offered the armband in the past but has turned it down to concentrate on his own personal performances.’
So, Fernandez, Ki or Dubravka could be given the armband away to Burnley tomorrow night.
Fernandez has captained Swansea and has already showed what a good communicator he is on the pitch, Ki captains his country – with him wearing the armband for South Korea at the World Cup – and Dubravka leads by example both on and off the pitch, being vocal between the sticks and speaking immaculately off it.
One thing this shows is just how many leaders we now have at the club. Lascelles and Dummett are level headed characters and great pros, however the likes of Ritchie, Fernandez, Ki and Dubravka are all capable of leading.
Given how few leaders we had when Rafa arrived back in 2016, this is refreshing to see.
Who would you go for IF Lascelles did miss out tomorrow? Personally, I’d like to see Fernandez skipper the side.