An interesting development for Paul Dummett, with injuries rocking Wales and putting him in line for a first competitive match at international level.
The Newcastle defender has made a couple of friendly appearances but Saturday’s home match against Serbia is looming large.
Group D in World Cup qualifying is rife with Newcastle players competing against each other, currently Serbia (Mitrovic) are top with seven points, ahead of the Republic of Ireland (Daryl Murphy and Ciaran Clark), with two points further back Wales (Dummett).
This international break was looking like pretty much every other one for Paul Dummett, included in the squad but zero chance of playing.
However, injury to first choice Ben Davies against Arsenal at the weekend, has been followed up by the shock withdrawal of West Ham’s James Collins who was expected to deputise.
Chris Coleman has filled the gaps in the squad with Bristol City’s (on loan from Sunderland) Adam Matthews and Joe Walsh of MK Dons.
However, Paul Dummett is expected to get the nod in Coleman’s three man defence as a centre-back!
First choice at left-back for Rafa Benitez, many/most Newcastle fans though believe that Dummett’s best games for NUFC have been when he has been selected the odd time at centre-half.
Chris Coleman has made clear in the past that he sees Paul Dummett as good cover for centre of defence and indeed had lined up the Geordie to play there in June 2015 in a crucial Euros qualifier against Belgium, only for him to pick up an injury.
This weekend’s injuries don’t just present a potentially great chance for the Newcastle defender, it also means that if he does start he will almost certainly be one of those marking Aleksandar Mitrovic, with the striker back in form for club and country.
Rafa Benitez is one who is in doubts that Paul Dummett can do a job for Chris Coleman, saying ahead of this Wales v Serbia match:
“Paul Dummett is a player you can trust and the kind of player, sometimes people complain that he doesn’t get forward enough.
“But he is always doing well, he can make a mistake sometimes, like anybody else, but he can be trusted.
“If he has to play for his country, he can do as well as anybody.”