Monday, December 5, 2022

Newcastle United Willing To Extend Contract Of Spanish Star: Does He Have A Role To Play?

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The Telegraph has reported that Newcastle United are hopeful of tying down Javier Manquillo to a contract extension ahead of other clubs interested in the player. The report also says that clubs such as Real Betis, Southampton and Crystal Palace are also monitoring the situation of the player. These two Premier League clubs want to secure his signature on a free transfer as his contract is expiring with the Magpies. However, Steve Bruce wants to retain him at St. James Park for a long time.

His time at Newcastle

The 26-year-old is a well-travelled man. After starting his career at Atletico Madrid, he moved to Liverpool on a loan spell. After a season with the Merseyside club, he was shipped off to France, this time playing for Marseille again on a loan spell. His next stop was Sunderland where he plied his trade for a season before securing a permanent transfer to Newcastle in 2017 for three seasons.

At the Tyneside club, Manquillo has till now failed to be a regular starter for the side. In his three seasons with the team, he has featured in 52 Premier League matches so far, with a number of these appearances coming from the bench. This season the ex-Liverpool man has played in 13 matches in the league, with 965 minutes of game time under his belt. Throughout this season, the manager has rotated between Manquillo and Yedlin, and it seems like the trend would remain the same in the remaining matches.

Although the Spaniard is a right-back by trade, he has also been placed as a right-sided defensive midfielder at times. Whenever the side has played against bigger teams and the gaffer has needed extra protection on the right side, Manquillo has been asked to play ahead of the right-back to keep things tight. He can also sprint down the flanks and join the team in the attack with his talent to deliver pinpoint crosses.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and Oxford United at St. James Park on January 25, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

This term, he has made 2.1 clearances, 2.1 tackles and 0.8 interceptions on an average per match in the league. Although the statistics do not say that Manquillo has done brilliant defensive work for the side, overall his performances have been tidy. He could improve on his ball distribution though, as completing 71.3% of his total passes is simply not good enough, especially if the club have ambitious plans from next season onwards.

What would be his role at Newcastle United?

The main question is whether the management would be able to complete the takeover process that is underway because the future of several players would depend on that. If Newcastle are to spend aggressively on the squad and bring in new players, then the role of Manquillo could be limited. He could be demoted to the status of a squad player, and we may see him featuring only in cup competitions.

However, the ex-Sunderland man is an experienced campaigner having plied his trade in the Premier League for a long time and therefore it would not make any sense for Bruce to lose him for free without bringing in any reinforcements. He can still do the job for the team for a few years to come, provided the club maintains status quo.

Stats from Whoscored.

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