To say we’re short on centre-backs would be an understatement after yesterday’s heroic 3-2 win over Southampton.
Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez have muscle injuries, Fabian Schar has now picked up what looks like a serious knee injury and it seems we do NOT have any option to recall Florian Lejeune from his loan spell at Alaves.
That leaves Ciaran Clark – who missed the Saints game as his wife was in labour – and Isaac Hayden; a player who can fill in at CB but is needed most in our midfield engine room.
Paul Dummett is an option, however his injury issues over the past 12 months mean back up is BADLY needed – meaning we could look to bring U-23 star Kelland Watts back from his impressive loan spell at Plymouth.
The 6ft 3′ local lad has been one of the standout defenders in League One this season, with Argyle fans on social media having nothing but good things to say about the ball-playing centre-back who was their man of the match in a big win at Sunderland just a few weeks ago.
The 21-year-old Alnwick-born defender made his senior debut last year in a final day defeat to Liverpool and has been considered one of the U-23’s top talents for a few years now, with him called up to train with the first-team by Rafa Benitez and included in our pre-season plans the summer Steve Bruce arrived.
It would’ve been much more ideal to have signed a Lejeune replacement or brought in another CB on loan last month, allowing Watts to continue playing every week in the EFL, however he might just be needed.
It will all depend on how close Lascelles and Fernandez are to returning, with the severity of Schar’s nasty looking knee injury also a big factor, but it’ll be one we’re considering if the situation continues to go from bad to worse at the back.