Paul Dummett is now more important than many Newcastle fans ever expected

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium...

With Javier Manquillo struggling at left back, Newcastle need Paul Dummett back in the squad for a tough run of fixtures.

Paul Dummett of Newcastle United walks off injured during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 13, 2017 in Newcastle upon...

Paul Dummett's opening day injury against Tottenham Hotspur represented a real blow for Newcastle United.

The Wales international has developed into a key man in recent seasons, while the Magpies have no natural deputy for their left back.

When the transfer window closed and Newcastle still did not bring in a back-up, fans were understandably concerned.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

But those worries were put on hold as Rafa Benitez guided his side through a tricky spell as Chancel Mbemba and Jesus Gamez shared duties on the left side of defence, each impressing.

However, the pair have now been forced out of the team as Javier Manquillo has switched from right to left - with DeAndre Yedlin's return - and things are not quite going to plan for the Spanish defender.

Manquillo has largely escaped criticism despite some shaky performances, but he was awful in Saturday's defeat to Bournemouth.

The Cherries counter-attacked time and again, with the stand-in left back repeatedly stepping up at the wrong time to leave space behind him on the flank.

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...

Manquillo was both out of position in defence and failing to offer something on the overlap - in contrast to Dummett, who crosses well and is solid at the back.

Dummett may not be the most exciting footballer but, ahead of a key run, starting with Manchester United away, Newcastle must hope the local lad is back fit and firing as soon as possible.

Few could have predicted he would ever become quite so crucial to Newcastle's success...

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