Forgotten Newcastle United man in contention v Chelsea after four months out

Newcastle United left-back Matt Targett. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Newcastle United left-back Matt Targett. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United left-back Matt Targett. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United have been without the defender since the beginning of November.

Newcastle United could welcome back Matt Targett into the matchday squad for Monday night's Premier League clash away to Chelsea (kick-off 8pm).

The Magpies have been without the left-back since he suffered a hamstring injury in the opening stages of the 3-0 win at Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in November. Surgery was required and Targett has spent four months out in total.

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The 28-year-old returned to training last week but wasn't involved against Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers with Eddie Howe saying: "Matty might need a little more time to be back involved with the squad just due to the fact his injury was a muscle injury."

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And following a full week of training, Targett is in contention for the visit to Stamford Bridge, a ground Newcastle haven't won at for 12 years. Asked about Targett, Howe told reporters: "Matt is working his way back to full fitness. If there was a situation where we needed him desperately, I think he could play now but I still think he needs a little bit more training time.

"That's not to say he won't be involved in the game but he's done well, had a full week of training and is getting closer. 

Targett has started just seven Premier League matches since joining permanently from Aston Villa for £15million in the summer of 2022. In the previous four months when he was on loan, the full-back started 16 games.

Dan Burn has been a regular at left-back for the past the past 18 months while Newcastle signed both Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall in the summer. Targett is contracted at St James' Park until 2026.

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