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Newcastle: Eddie Howe provides Matt Targett injury update

An update has emerged on Newcastle United full-back Matt Targett and his current injury situation…

What’s the latest?

Magpies boss Eddie Howe has revealed that the defender is now set for a spell on the sidelines due to an issue with his heel that he has been dealing with for some time.

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The left-back was not involved in the matchday squad for the 0-0 draw with Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday and it now remains to be seen when he will be able to return to action.

Howe told The Northern Echo: “Matt has a heel problem. He’s been managing it for a couple of months, but it’s got to the point where it’s too painful for him to carry on.

“When I say a couple of months, I’m including the break in that as well. It’s disappointing – I think he’s going to be out for a period of time, although I’m not 100 per cent about just how long it’ll be at the moment. But it’s a nasty injury.”

Frustration for Howe

This injury setback should leave the Toon head coach frustrated as it is a big blow to his squad heading into the second half of the 2022/23 campaign.

Howe’s revelation that Targett has been dealing with the problem for a couple of months may explain why the full-back has been restricted to just four starts in the Premier League this season, after catching the eye on loan at St. James’ Park last term.

The Englishman averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.96 across 33 outings for Villa and Newcastle combined in the top flight in 2021/22 and made an impact at both ends of the pitch.

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Defensively, he made 3.8 tackles and interceptions per match and won 60% of his individual duels, whilst he also created 1.2 chances for his teammates per outing as he showcased his ability to defend his own box and create problems in the opposition’s box.

Dan Burn, who has been starting in his place at left-back, has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.81 in the Premier League this season. He has made 2.2 tackles and interceptions and only a measly 0.3 key passes per game, whilst winning 52% of his individual duels, suggesting that he does not offer as much as Targett at either end of the pitch.

The former Aston Villa man’s efficiency in defence and creativity going forward has not been matched by Burn this term and this is why this latest injury setback is a big blow that should leave Howe frustrated, as a fully fit Targett is a valuable asset for the Magpies.