Newcastle United have been dealt a blow regarding the fitness of Paul Dummett ahead of their upcoming Premier League clash.
In recent comments cited by Sussex Live, Graeme Jones revealed that the Wales international will not be available for selection for the Magpies’ trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday evening, as the left-back has not yet recovered from a calf problem which has kept him sidelined for the entirety of the club’s 2021/22 campaign thus fur.
However, a further report by BBC Sport claimed that the 30-year-old could be in line for a return in the near future, with post-international break appearing to be a realistic timeframe for the defender to return to first team action.
Speaking about the current condition of the Newcastle squad, Jones said: “We’ve managed to get everybody fit apart from Paul Dummett. He’s the only injury at the minute.”
While it is true that Dummett has not featured at all for Newcastle so far this season, the left-back’s continued absence will nevertheless come as a big blow for Jones, as neither Matt Ritchie nor Jamal Lewis – the club’s other two options in that position – have greatly impressed on the left-hand side of the Magpies’ defence this term.
Indeed, over Ritchie’s 10 Premier League appearances in the current campaign, the £2.7m-rated Scot has failed to help his team to keep a single clean sheet, while making just 0.5 interceptions, 1.7 tackles and two clearances and winning 3.4 duels per game. These returns have seen the 32-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.75.
Meanwhile, while Lewis has made just one top-flight appearance this season, the £10.8m-rated defender received a rather disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.2 for his efforts in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester United, albeit after only spending nine minutes on the pitch.
As such, it would certainly appear as if the return of Dummett – whose average SofaScore rating of 6.76 last season surpassed those of Ritchie and Lewis so far this term – cannot come soon enough for Newcastle, who will once again have to make do without the Wales international in what is sure to be a challenging fixture against the high-flying Seagulls this evening.