Final reckoning on minutes played by all 30 Newcastle players in pre-season – Tottenham awaits
There have been 30 Newcastle players used by Rafa Benitez in pre-season.
With the friendly schedule now complete, we can see how many minutes the manager gave each member of his squad, from Achraf Lazaar’s 15 minutes to the 394 summer signing Florian Lejeune has had.
Little doubt that Lejeune will start on Sunday alongside Ciaran Clark, the Republic of Ireland international getting the next highest number of minutes (366).
Looking at clues to the starting 11 against Tottenham, you also can’t ignore the blatant fact that Rafa Benitez has chosen the same 11 players to start the final two friendlies of pre-season.
All 11 of these players are amongst the 14 Newcastle players to get the most pre-season minutes.
The three exceptions are Mohamed Diame (283), Chancel Mbemba (273) and Siem de Jong (265).
Siem de Jong was given a fair crack of the whip in the first four friendlies but was then reduced to a bit part role after failing to impress.
Chancel Mbemba has become a player to cover both centre-back and right-back, picking up extra pre-season minutes due to injuries for both Lascelles and Yedlin.
Meanwhile, still a chance I suppose for Diame to play ahead of Perez on Sunday but unlikely, it looking more like he will be a utility player to have on the bench to cover a number of positions, having played number 10, defensive midfield and even striker/false number nine briefly against Wolfsburg.
So United set to start with the following against Spurs…
Elliot, Manquillo, Lejeune, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu, Perez, Mitrovic
Minutes played in the six Newcastle first team pre-season friendlies:
265 De Jong
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