Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez must swallow his pride and recall Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to the starting XI against Watford on Saturday.

The 23-year-old has been out of favour under the Spanish boss since his arrival at St James’ Park, and it has been previously revealed that he has tried to get rid of the forward in previous transfer windows.

However, despite not starting a single Premier League game this season, the Serbian must feature against Watford to bring the best out of the side, something highlighted by former Arsenal star Paul Merson.

As such, even if it means putting his authoritative pride to one side, Benitez will have to make two changes for the best possible XI against the Hornets, with Mitrovic and Mo Diame coming in for Joselu and Isaac Hayden, continuing to employ a 4-4-2 formation.

Despite the 4-1 scoreline, the Magpies’ defence was as strong as it could be in the defeat to Manchester United, with Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett both missing through injury.

In midfield Hayden is an enforced absentee through suspension, and with Mikel Merino still an injury doubt, Diame is the next natural replacement to line up alongside Jonjo Shelvey.

Jacob Murphy enjoyed his best game for the club at Old Trafford, and with Christian Atsu still out, he should continue on the flank along with Matt Ritchie.

Gayle and Joselu proved two up top could work for the club, the English striker scoring against Manchester United, but the Spaniard is lacking the necessary physicality to bring the best out of his strike partner, which is why playing Mitrovic is a must.

That line up offers Benitez and Newcastle everything they need, and as such should blow Watford away when they make the long journey up to the north east.

In other Newcastle United news, the club are looking to get rid of this £40,000-a-week figure.

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