Scott Malone is pushing strongly for a Premier League start with Huddersfield Town.
That’s the message from head coach David Wagner as he prepares to take his 11th-placed side to third-bottom Swansea City.
There has been much debate over the recent form of Chris Lowe at left-back, with Malone itching for a chance to take the starting spot.
Wagner says rumours of a loan move for Malone to Leeds United in January are news to him, and he points to the battle between the former Fulham man and Lowe as an ideal example of competition for places.
Asked about how strongly Malone is challenging, Wagner said: “He is close, like I think a lot of players are close.
“He has started some games this season as well and I think we have competition in a lot of positions – in left-back as well.
“Scott has had a good week and he’s had a good season so far.
“Chris Lowe has had a good season – he had some more problems maybe in the first Premier League games than he had in the Championship.
“And this is why we are happy we have two competitors for this position.
“Scott Malone is a player we have in our head for the whole season and for Swansea as well.”
So could Malone be employed further forward, playing in front of Lowe on the left flank?
“Usually, if nothing extra-ordinary happens, we have wingers who are more natural wingers who usually can deliver us more from the winger position other than Chris Lowe or Scott Malone,” answered the boss.
“No-one know what will happen over a season, but this isn’t an option for me at the minute that Scott Malone or Chris Lowe plays as a winger and the other one plays as a full-back.”