A dire 1-0 defeat at Burnley on Monday night just provided more ammunition for the argument that Newcastle United need to give Jacob Murphy a run in the starting XI.
The England Under-21 winger was The Magpies’ most expensive acquisition of a disappointing summer transfer window when he arrived from Norwich City for a fee of around £12 million, as reported by Sky Sports.
While fellow additions Joselu, Javi Manquillo, Mikel Merino and co have been regulars in the first-team, however, Murphy has been forced to wait for his chance. Arguably the quickest and most creative player in Newcastle’s largely workmanlike squad, Murphy has started just one Premier League game and was handed just 11 minutes off the bench against Burnley.
Though The Chronicle claims that this was always the plan. The report states that Newcastle saw the 22-year-old as a player who needed time to adapt before becoming a first-team regular.
Manager Rafa Benitez is understood to have devoted time on the training pitch to ensure Murphy starts to grasp the defensive duties asked of him, notably tracking back and protecting his full-back. Newcastle fans can expect to see arguably their most exciting and unpredictable attacker get far more opportunities in the New Year.
However, while Murphy may be raw, he is no unproven and untested scamp. He is 22 and has a whole Championship season under his belt for Norwich, scoring nine goals and assisting six in 37 league games.
More lifeless performances like that at Turf Moor will have Benitez under pressure to fast-track Murphy into his first-team plans.