Newcastle: Journalist tips Jacob Murphy for a rare start
Andrew Musgrove believes that Jacob Murphy will start for Newcastle United this weekend.
The Lowdown: Guimaraes to be replaced
Eddie Howe is certainly facing a selection headache ahead of Newcastle’s clash against West Ham this weekend with Bruno Guimaraes set to miss the game, which will likely see Joelinton move into midfield.
Therefore, Howe must decide who he deploys on the left-hand side of the front three with the options likely being between Allan Saint-Maximin, Anthony Gordon or Murphy with the latter having featured in every single gamer this season.
Despite only starting five times in the league this season, Murphy has indeed featured more often than Saint-Maximin overall, so it may not be a huge shock if he was handed the starting berth by Howe.
The Latest: Murphy to be handed a start
Musgrove has admitted on the Everything is Black and White podcast he believes Murphy will be given the nod by Howe ahead of Saint-Maximin, despite him being subbed on and then off again on Tuesday night.
He said: (37:00) “I spoke about this off camera with Aaron [Stokes] the other day about Saint-Maximin’s performance on Tuesday and we didn’t really want to bring anyone down because it was such a wonderful moment, Newcastle off to Wembley.
“But I just felt there were moments of his performance, especially when Newcastle went down to 10 men, that he didn’t really cover himself in the best of light, whereas Murphy comes off the bench and he did a bit more running about and a bit more effort in my view.
“So I think, he’s probably played his way into starting against West Ham.”
The Verdict: Howe has a huge decision to make
Given that Joelinton – who’s been performing admirably well on the left – will be dropped back into the midfield three alongside Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff, it would offer Howe a very easy way to get Saint-Maximin into the team.
The Frenchman has been a very important player for Newcastle over the last few years ranking near the top for both goal and shot-creating actions but his injury woes have seen him lose his sport in the side this campaign.
Howe has seemingly been unwilling to move Joelinton away from his newfound left-wing role, but with Guimaraes out it would be a huge sign of Saint-Maximin’s bleak future on Tyneside if Murphy – who’s got just 13 goal involvements during his time on Tyneside – was afforded a start ahead of him.