Newcastle have not lost merely a goalkeeper in Tim Krul, but a leader too

Tim Krul

Injured on international duty, Krul will now miss the rest of what could be another crucial season on Tyneside.

Rupturing his cruciate ligament, as reported by the club's official website, the Dutchman faces a long road back to fitness, offering another crushing blow to the fortunes of the Premier League’s bottom club.

Whilst the majority of the squad have had their loyalty to The Magpies’ questioned in recent memory, Krul has demonstrated his allegiance and reliability as Newcastle’s most consistent player of the past five years.

A Newcastle player for nearly a decade, the 27-year-old has grown into the role as a leader within the dressing room at St. James’ Park.

Along with captain Fabricio Coloccini, Krul had gained the unquestioned respect of his teammates and his presence will be a huge miss in what is turning out to be a battle against relegation for the North East club.

Without deputy 'keeper Karl Darlow to step in (also injured and untested at Premier League level), third-choice Rob Elliot will find himself in goal at home to Norwich City this Saturday, and for the foreseeable future.

Krul’s huge loss makes him one of 13 senior players that Newcastle are currently without - the highest in the Premier League.

The club's decision to invest heavily in young talent has left a void in experienced clubmen to lead the team through such rough waters.

Without Krul behind what is an already unsteady backline, Newcastle’s woes could worsen in the lead up to January, before they will be able to bring in a suitable replacement on a loan or short-term deal - should Darlow or Elliot fail to impress.

With four crucial games against Norwich, Sunderland, Stoke City and Bournemouth on the horizon, it will be up to the likes of Jack Colback, Daryl Janmaat, Georginio Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko to step in and become one of the team's senior voices alongside Coloccini.

Compounding 13 injuries to a side already bottom of the table, Newcastle need leaders now more than ever.

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