Rafael Benitez will hand a Premier League debut to training facility canteen worker Dorris O’Reilly against Newcastle on the 30th. The club has been forced to find novel solutions to its ongoing Covid crisis.


“The situation is not ideal,” Benitez told Soccer on Sunday. “Dorris is 63 years old and has never kicked a football, so she must focus to shackle Saint-Maximin and keep him quiet. She had triple bypass surgery in July, so I tell her, ‘Just give us everything for 60 or 70 minutes’. I won’t risk her for longer, because she has grandchildren and also a great grandchild.”

“There are other canteen solutions,” said the Spaniard. “Jane Wilson is 72 years-old and 19 stone, but possibly she can do a job as a False 9. Or perhaps other areas of the pitch, so long as they are also false. The difficulty is if she is asked to play in a non-false position. Then it becomes more obvious that she has not played football before.”

“This is a matter for the chairman,” he added, when asked if poor performances by O’Reilly and Wilson might affect their canteen contracts.