Jair to leave opponents guessing this season

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Newcastle Jets signing Jair Eduardo Britto da Silva is hoping to build on Andrew Nabbout’s legacy as he prepares for his first season in the Hyundai A-League.

Nabbout, a standout in 2017/18 which saw the utility forward earn Socceroos honours and earn a big money move overseas, was a critical yet unpredictable cog in Ernie Merrick’s Newcastle Jets machine.

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He was utilised as a winger, an attacking midfielder and a striker throughout the course of the season – meaning opposition coaches and backlines didn’t know what they were going to deal with until – quite literally – kick-off.

Merrick has a history of deploying flexible attackers in a number of positions and with Jair capable of playing anywhere in the front third, it’s likely we’ll see something similar with Jair in the new campaign.

While traditionally a winger, the Brazilian forward answered cryptically when it came to where he will line up for the Novocastrians.

“My original position is winger – left winger. Sometimes I have played as the striker or a number 10: it depends on the players and their styles,” said Jair.

“Here, I can play as a winger or because we have a good, compact midfield behind the first line, I can also play a number 10.”

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While the position Jair will play for Newcastle may be clear as mud, what is evident is that he’s ready to do anything for Merrick and is already feeling a connection to the club.

“Ernie Merrick is like our father: we have to help him and help the club. He gives big confidence to everybody and while he doesn’t ask too much: he’s not shy on the training ground.

“This club is like family already and we are hoping to enjoy our time here. I am so happy, my family is loving the Newcastle City and this is good because it helps for me to work and show my best performance.

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Following a frustrating stint for Yanbian Funde in China League One, Jair is especially desperate to showcase his talent. Taking over Nabbout’s old role at the Newcastle Jets could be the perfect recipe to do just that.

But exactly where on the pitch he’ll be week-to-week is something opposition defenders are going to have to work out themselves.

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Harry Keating
Harry Keating
Intern at The Football Sack covering The Newcastle Jets A-League and W-League home matches!

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