Is DeAndre Yedlin suffering from a lack of real competition at Newcastle?

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns on November 28, 2017 in West...

DeAndre Yedlin has disappointed in recent weeks, yet his place in the Newcastle team looks assured.

Richarlison de Andrade of Watford and Deandre Yedlin of Newcastle United battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford at St. James Park on...

DeAndre Yedlin was handed a fair share of the blame for Newcastle United's 3-0 defeat at home to Watford on Saturday, with all three goals coming down his flank.

But, in reality, Matt Ritchie was at least partially at fault for the opening two goals, with Yedlin given little protection.

On Tuesday, however, as Newcastle trailed West Bromwich Albion 2-0, Yedlin had no excuse after two awful errors.

Deandre Yedlin of Newcastle United and Jose Salomon Rondon of West Bromwich Albion in action during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The...

The United States defender completely misjudged a long pass towards Kieran Gibbs for the opener, before being easily beaten to a right-wing cross for Sam Fields' second.

Having been one of Newcastle's most consistent performers in the past 12 months, Yedlin's recent dismal displays stand out.

But could these performances be due to a lack of real competition? This is a squad where his right back rival is Javier Manquillo, who has consistently disappointed on the left so far this term.

Javi Manquillo of Newcastle United is challenged by Callum Wilson of AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St. James Park on...

Yedlin had to fight off competition from Vurnon Anita in the Championship last season, while he previously battled Billy Jones for a place in the Sunderland team.

Even at Seattle Sounders FC, ahead of his big move to Tottenham Hotspur, Yedlin had the presence of captain and able deputy Brad Evans to keep him on his toes.

Newcastle cannot afford to drop Yedlin right now and the full back might well know that. It is an area Rafa Benitez must address.

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