Jacob Murphy Can Act as an Excellent Example to Newcastle United Fringe Players

Jacob Murphy
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Newcastle United enjoyed their finest transfer window in years this summer, bringing in the likes of Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser. Despite their bountiful summer in terms of incomings, they were unable to offload their deadwood. Many players considered surplus to requirements still find themselves in oblivion. Jacob Murphy was one such player this summer, but has managed to play his way back into Steve Bruce‘s plans. His success in the Newcastle first-team should serve as an example to other fringe players to keep fighting.

The Return of Jacob Murphy to the Newcastle United First-Team

Loan Spells to Long-Range Scorer

Murphy’s arrival at Newcastle did not involve much fanfare. In a summer where Rafa Benítez saw limited transfer funds, his signing stunk of a back-up option. He never made significant headway under Benítez’ tutelage, and even took a while to convince Steve Bruce too. A loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday last season was his second since joining the club. He did, however, impress at Hillsborough, finishing as Wednesday’s top-scorer behind Steven Fletcher.

Despite looking like he may not have a future at St. James’ Park, Murphy has done well to play himself into contention, in a new role no less. His free-kick goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers last week was a delightful sign of his resilience to make his dream move pay dividends. While he did have some less successful speculative efforts against Everton, one cannot fault his rise back to the Newcastle first-team.

New Role, No Problem

The 25-year-old was a natural winger during his time with Norwich City before making the move north. However, he could never force his way in ahead of the likes of Matt Ritchie and Kenedy.

Miguel Almirón’s signing signalled that his time on Tyneside was drawing to a close. Yet, as ever in football, injuries breed opportunities for other players to fill in when needed. Newcastle had such an opportunity for Murphy when Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth both suffered injuries. Bruce opted for Murphy even ahead of DeAndre Yedlin, a more traditional full-back. So far, he has succeed in his wing-back role. Playing as part of a back five gives him the chance to still get forward, without as much defensive impetus as a traditional full-back. While being relatively untested against Everton, he certainly looks to have a newfound confidence in his new role.

Setting a Standard for Other Fringe Players

Murphy should be praised for showing the resilience to come back when his Newcastle career looked over. His story could be an example for other players on the outskirts of Steve Bruce’s plans. There is no reason why Yedlin could not force his way back into the side; there is enough ability there for him to make a very good wing-back.

The same could be said for Dwight Gayle. Despite not being a first-choice striker since 2018, he could have a significant part to play this season. His pace and poacher’s instinct makes him the most obvious replacement for Callum Wilson in the event of an injury. Though he is injured at the moment, Gayle can offer more at this level than Andy Carroll, who is without a Premier League goal since 2018.

Even Yoshinori Muto could have an outside chance of reigniting his Newcastle career, although there was never much flame to begin with.

Jacob Murphy has managed to get where he is through dedicated hard work. That shouldn’t be too much to ask from players at the highest level in England.

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