April 18, 2024

Newcastle United has been without the defender since the start of November.
Matt Targett might return to Newcastle United’s matchday squad for Monday night’s Premier League showdown against Chelsea (kick-off 8pm).

The Magpies have been without the left-back since he suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of a 3-0 Carabao Cup triumph over Manchester United in November. Targett had surgery and has been away for four months in all.

The 28-year-old returned to training last week but did not play against Blackburn Rovers or Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Eddie Howe stating: “Matty may need a little more time to be back with the squad simply because his injury was a muscle injury.”

And, after a full week of training, Targett is in contention for the trip to Stamford Bridge, where Newcastle has not won in 12 years. When asked about Targett, Howe informed reporters: “Matt is working his way back to full fitness.” If we needed him right now, I believe he could play, but he still needs some more training time.

 

Matt Targett explains 'easy decision' to confirm Newcastle stay as Eddie  Howe emphasises contribution

 

“That’s not to say he won’t play in the game, but he’s done well, has had a full week of practice, and is getting closer.

Targett has started only seven Premier League games since signing permanently from Aston Villa for £15 million in the summer of 2022. In the preceding four months on loan, the full-back started 16 games.

Dan Burn has been a fixture at left-back for the previous 18 months, while Newcastle signed Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall in the summer. Targett’s contract at St James’ Park runs until 2026.

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