ALAN Pardew has sung the praises of “outstanding” Paul Dummett ahead of today’s clash with Liverpool at St James’s Park – and has backed him to become a centre-back in the long-term.
Dummett made a stunning impact in the same fixture last season when he scored his first senior goal for Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw.
He has made the left-back position his own in the Premier League so far this term in the absence of Davide Santon, and impressed at centre-back in Wednesday’s 2-0 League Cup win at Manchester City.
Pardew is a huge fan of the 23-year-old former St Mirren loanee, and believes his natural position is in the middle.
He said of the Welsh international: “I think centre-back is his natural position, if I’m honest.
“Young players – for example (Phil) Jones at Man United – need to be introduced sometimes at full-back to understand the game.
“The tiny little nuances of centre-half play – the little nudge in the back, when to read it, when to go – all those things take time.
“Paul Dummett, on Wednesday, put in a performance really that suggests like he has read all that and he knows it.
“He’s an outstanding defender, and he made some fantastic blocks on Wednesday, and that’s what he’s about.
“He’s kind of Steven Taylor-ish, but he has just got a really good mentality for the game.
“Nothing phases him, he wants to go and play, and I really, really like him.
“I think centre-half might be his position.”
Dummett was also given a red card at Anfield against Liverpool last season, only for the decision to be reversed on appeal.