Where is Federico Fernandez? A look at his Newcastle United absence and his chances of returning for Arsenal

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Newcastle United assistant head coach Jason Tindall has addressed Federico Fernandez’s mysterious absence.

Federico Fernandez’s absence over the last month or so is one Newcastle United fans have been a little surprised by.

Here, we take a look at the current mystery surrounding Fernandez, what’s been said and his chances of re-appearing at Arsenal:

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What’s happened to Federico Fernandez?

It is a bit of a mystery among fans, especially given Fernandez is regarded by many as the club’s best all-round defender.

Indeed, the Argentine hasn’t kicked a competitive ball since the 2-1 defeat at Wolves in early October and has been left out the last four matchday squads.

In total, the 32-year-old has featured in five of United’s 12 Premier League games after signing a new two-year contract in the summer.

What Jason Tindall said about Federico Fernandez’s absence

Tindall, speaking ahead of the Arsenal fixture, said: “Fede, of course, is in contention just like the rest of the squad for every game.

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“A manager will always pick a team he believes is the best team to win the game. We will choose the bench with what we feel is needed for that game as well.

“I can only speak of how Fede has been since we’ve been here and he’s trained extremely well.

“He’s an outstanding professional, a fantastic guy and a real leader within the group.

“There are so many games in the Premier League, I’m sure every one of these players are going to be called upon at some point.

“As and when that happens, who knows.”

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Could he be recalled against Arsenal?

At the moment, it seems quite apparent that Fernandez is bottom of the pecking order.

For the last four games - three under Graeme Jones as interim boss - Newcastle have played with three central defenders and still Fernandez was left out completely.

Under Jones, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Emil Krafth were the mainstay central trio before Fabian Schar replaced the latter for Howe’s first game in charge.

Perhaps what isn’t working in Fernandez favour as a substitute is he lacks versatility, whereas Krafth can play at right-back or centre-half. Jamal Lewis is an attacking full-back and Isaac Hayden is comfortable in midfield and at the back.

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If Dwight Gayle fails a late fitness test ahead of the trip to Emirates Stadium, that could free up a place on the bench for Fernandez. However, Elliot Anderson and Jeff Hendrick are also players waiting for their opportunity.

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