Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett has explained that his recent injury record was a key factor in his decision to reject Ryan Giggs’ offer of an international call-up for Wales, as told to the Chronicle.
The Dragons face Azerbaijan and Belarus in European qualifiers this month, as they look to kick-start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, having taken three points from their opening three games following defeats away to Croatia and Hungary.
Dummett was not involved in either Group E tie, though, and he has opted against accepting Giggs’ offer of a place in his latest Wales squad, as he intends to focus on club football for now, rather than look to gain his sixth international cap (TransferMarkt).
“It was obviously a difficult decision, because playing for your country is an honour, but I have had my fair share of injuries over time and I just felt that coming at this time of my career I want to play for Newcastle and earn a new contract here,” he told the Chronicle.
“My main focus is to be fit playing for Newcastle and stay here for the rest of my career. I don’t know [if this is the end of my international career]. We will have to see what happens in the future.”
Dummett has started each of the Magpies’ opening league games as part of Steve Bruce’s three-man centre-half unit, but was injured when he featured on the international stage last season, resulting in a lengthy lay-off for the Newcastle-born defender.
The 27-year-old returned to action over the frantic Christmas period, and, following another lay-off in January, has not missed a league game since February 26 (TransferMarkt) and put on a Man of the Match-worthy display in his side’s shock victory over Tottenham Hotspur last month.
His presence in the air against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs was particularly key to the Magpies taking the spoils back to the North East from North London, with Dummett recording a 100 per cent success rate in the air per data collected by WhoScored.
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