Four Newcastle youngsters could make debuts v Birmingham - report
By Dominic Toner
Newcastle could hand four of the club’s youngsters their debuts in the FA Cup third-round replay against Birmingham on Wednesday, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim that Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, Jamie Holmes, Daniel Barlaser and Stuart Findlay were all left out of the club’s Under-23s defeat to Swansea and could be promoted to the first-team.
The four players have not featured in the club’s first-team before and may get the opportunity against Championship opponents Birmingham in the cup replay at St James’ Park, with a place on the bench the most likely outcome.
The Magpies are currently thin on the ground and manager Rafael Benitez would have hoped to rotate and rest senior players for the cup.
However, Sammy Ameobi, Jamie Sterry and Haris Vuckic are all cup-tied and would have been likely to come in if they were available.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Newcastle all suffered three injury concerns at the weekend in the 2-1 victory over Brentford as Vurnon Anita, Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle were all forced off the pitch.
Benitez could now be set to experiment with some of the club’s younger players and give supporters a glimpse of the future.
Ben El-Mhanni, 21, and Jamie Holmes, 18, are two wide options who could some into the side and allow the likes of Matt Ritchie and Yoan Gouffran some rest.
Barlaser is a central midfield option that Benitez could turn to as he is currently lack of options in that position.
The 19-year-old has been involved in the first-team picture before and made the bench in the Premier League against West Brom, but is still awaiting his first appearance.
Findlay, 21, could come into the defence to partner Grant Hanley at centre-back, which would give Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles a rest.
In other Newcastle team news, Benitez has revealed what impressed him about the win against Brentford.