Scott close

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

him, and he points to the bat­tle be­tween the for­mer Ful­ham man and Lowe as an ideal ex­am­ple of com­pe­ti­tion for places.

Asked about how strongly Malone is chal­leng­ing, Wag­ner said: “He is close, like I think a lot of play­ers are close.

“He has started some games this sea­son as well and I think we have com­pe­ti­tion in a lot of po­si­tions – in left-back as well.

“Scott has had a good week and he’s had a good sea­son so far.

“Chris Lowe has had a good sea­son – he had some more prob­lems maybe in the first Pre­mier League games than he had in the Cham­pi­onship.

“And this is why we are happy we have two com­peti­tors for this po­si­tion.

“Scott Malone is a player we have in our head for the whole sea­son and for Swansea as well.”

So could Malone ge em­ployed fur­ther for­ward, play­ing in front of Lowe on the left flank?

“Usu­ally, if noth­ing ex­tra-or­di­nary hap­pens, we have wingers who are more nat­u­ral wingers who usu­ally can de­liver us more from the winger po­si­tion other than Chris Lowe or Scott Malone,” an­swered the boss.

“No-one know what will hap­pen over a sea­son, but this isn’t an op­tion for me at the minute that Scott Malone or Chris Lowe plays as a winger and the other one plays as a full-back.”

Mikel Merino has com­pleted a per­ma­nent move to New­cas­tle from Borus­sia Dort­mund af­ter an im­pres­sive start to his ca­reer in Eng­land.

The 21-year-old mid­fielder ar­rived at St James’ Park on loan in July and has done so well on Ty­ne­side that the club has handed him a five-year con­tract.

Man­ager Rafael Ben­itez told NUFC TV: “I’m re­ally pleased we have been able to bring Mikel to the club per­ma­nently. He has played very well since he joined.”

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