Why Newcastle United should keep hold of utility man Javier Manquillo
According to Shields Gazette, right-back Javier Manquillo’s contract at Newcastle United is set to expire this coming summer.
The Spaniard has been a consistent performer for the Magpies since his arrival from La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2017. However, it has not been the best of seasons for the former Sunderland and Liverpool player having made just 13 league appearances this season.
The 25-year-old, who until last season was, without doubt, their first-choice right-back has been rather unlucky this season, missing out on games due to coach Steve Bruce’s constant changes in the squad.
This season has seen Manquillo fight for a starting role within the side along with teammate DeAndre Yedlin, who meanwhile has made 12 league appearances so far.
In his first season (2017-18) for the Magpies, Manquillo featured in 21 league games and assisted just once. In the next season, he improved upon his performances, assisting thrice despite playing fewer matches (18).
This season has not been entirely favourable for the Spanish full-back with Magpies boss Bruce choosing players according to the requirements of the game.
Despite that, Manquillo has always been a handy customer for the Magpies slotting into any role when given an opportunity. To date, he has made 52 league appearances for the Tyneside club and has provided five assists in total.
He has also easily slotted into the left-back role and at times moved forward into the flanks. This season alone, out of the 13 matches he played so far, he started five times in the right midfield.
Meanwhile, Bruce’s Newcastle have managed to hang on in England’s top-flight league with the side currently sitting 13th in the table. However, it has been a rather lacklustre season for Bruce’s side as they have just won nine of their overall 29 matches.
Though Bruce has four right-backs in his side in Manquillo, Yedlin, Krafth, and Sterry, the battle for the starting contention has been mainly between the Manquillo and Yedlin.
Undoubtedly, the pair has been Bruce’s best bet in the current line-up. However, what puts Manquillo in good stead ahead of Yedlin is the fact that he is more of a utility player than the American.
His mere numbers are a testament to that. The Spaniard has featured two times more than the Yedlin (3 matches) in the midfield and done a decent job.
Manquillo, who did not play for a long time since New Year finally featured in Magpies’ last two games and also featured in the 0-1 away win over Southampton earlier this month.
Hence, Bruce should reconsider his options and keep hold off Manquillo at least for another year in a bid to improve his team’s performances.
With his consistency, Manquillo has always proved to be an asset to Newcastle. Also, his flexibility to shift to different roles makes him a good utility player for a coach like Bruce, who experiments with his squad a lot.
Hence, Newcastle should offer the Spaniard a new deal and keep hold off him rather than let his deal expire coming summer.