By Russell Edge
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is sweating over the fitness of Christian Atsu and Jamaal Lascelles ahead over their clash with Manchester United, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim on their website that the Spanish boss has already had long term injury layoff Paul Dummett, who is closing in on a recovery from his hamstring injury, and Mikel Merino, who is said to be at least a week away from returning to action, ruled out from their trip to Old Trafford.
Atsu is reported to be a major doubt after the Ghanaian Football Association confirmed that he had suffered a thigh tear while on international duty, which ruled him out of his country’s world cup qualifying match against Egypt.
He has been a key member of the Magpies’ squad this season, having appeared in every one of the club’s 11 league matches, with just one of those not coming in the starting XI.
Meanwhile club captain and star defender Jamaal Lascelles is said to still be struggling to recover from the ankle injury which forced him off in the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth prior to the international break.
He is another who has appeared in every one of the club’s Premier League outings this season, despite having started the season opener against Tottenham on the substitute’s bench.
In other Newcastle United team news, Manchester United could be missing this star quartet when the Magpies visit.