Newcastle have been handed a major injury boost ahead of their clash with Aston Villa today…
Magpies boss Eddie Howe has revealed a relief for Dan Burn as the former Brighton centre-back is available to be named in the starting XI at St James’ Park.
Matt Targett is ineligible to face his parent club and this has opened up a spot in the team for the ex-Seagulls man to potentially fill.
When asked about who could start at left-back, Howe told The Chronicle: “Dan Burn is an option for us and it’s great that I’ve got a couple of options in that position. Manquillo has done really well at left-back – he came on against Leeds and made a huge impact.”
This comes after the giant defender did not make his Magpies debut against Everton, with the head coach citing a toe injury as the reason behind that decision.
Newcastle fans will surely be buzzing, as this update from Howe indicates that Burn’s issue with his toe is resolved and that he will be able to play from the start against Villa today. He was unable to make the starting XI against the Toffees, which ultimately meant that the Toon Army did not get to see him in action for the first time.
Therefore, they will be delighted by the prospect of seeing him line up in the team this afternoon, albeit in place of Targett at left-back instead of in his more natural central defensive position. He is a proven Premier League performer and his reputation could get fans excited about watching him play.
In the top flight this season, he has averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.96. Allan Saint-Maximin and Kieran Trippier are the only Magpies players who can better that score, which suggests that he could be one of the club’s top performers if he is able to replicate his Brighton form on Tyneside.
He does have experience playing at left-back, with 46 appearances in that position throughout his career. Graham Potter opted to utilise him a left wing-back at times despite his two-metre frame, and this means the 29-year-old could be a viable option for Howe in that role in place of Targett.
Whilst fans may have to wait to see him towering above strikers at centre-back, they could still enjoy watching him maraud down the flank to support the Newcastle attack.
It is a major boost for Howe as he has Targett, Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett all unavailable, alongside Jamal Lewis, who was left out of the 25-man squad. This means that Burn’s availability has come at a crucial moment for the Toon.