Newcastle United have been handed a much-needed injury boost ahead of their Premier League clash against Brentford on Saturday afternoon.
After seeing Kieran Trippier need surgery, the last thing Magpies boss Eddie Howe needed was for another one of his right-backs to go down too, with Javier Manquillo missing the draw against West Ham.
But in better news for the Tyneside club, it appears he is now back in contention for the game away at Brentford at the weekend.
The Chronicle reported: “Howe initially feared the Spanish full-back could be out for an extended period over concerns for an ankle ligament injury, and Emil Krafth started in the 1-1 draw at West Ham.
“No return date has been given for Manquillo, but the 27-year-old was pictured back in full training on Wednesday, giving hope he could be fit to face the Bees.”
Having recently made his 100th appearance for the Magpies, Manquillo has been a player who’s perhaps gone slightly under the radar at St James’ Park.
The Spaniard certainly won’t be picking up any of the headlines anytime soon given how January signing Trippier has started life on Tyneside, but the reliable full-back has been a largely consistent performer for Newcastle.
An analysis piece done by The Chronicle earlier this week revealed: “In just 13 starts this season, Manquillo has made 40 tackles with only Sean Longstaff (41), Joe Willock (47) and Joelinton (51) making more. Those tackles have handed Newcastle possession of the ball 24 times – again, only the three players mentioned above rank higher.
“Manquillo tops the list in terms of tackles in the defensive third (26) and with the number of dribblers tackled (18) – a success rate of 56.3%.”
With Trippier out for the foreseeable future, Howe desperately needed some positive news on the injury front when it came to Manquillo.
And with images showing him back in first-team training, it’s the kind of welcome boost that will give the Magpies another shot in the arm as they continue their resurgence under Howe.