When Fabricio Coloccini was ruled out for Newcastle's trip to Swansea, much of the focus was on how Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa would play in his place, with the talented French defender one of the most exciting pieces of business done by any Premier League side in January.
However the defender who really impressed for Alan Pardew's team was once again Steven Taylor, and the 27 year old now seems to be on the brink of a first England cap after a series of fine displays for his club.
The centre of Newcastle's defence has been an ever-changing problem for them this season, with Coloccini and Taylor both enduring stretches on the side-lines. January posed a whole new set of difficulties in that area of the team, with Coloccini seemingly destined to return to Argentina, before ending up agreeing to stay at Newcastle.
However the club emerged from that month in an excellent position, with Yanga-Mbiwa and Coloccini both in the ranks for the rest of the season at least. Those two will draw many more headlines than Taylor, but it is the Englishman who has been the constant in their side in recent weeks, and you would expect him to remain there for the rest of the year.
Now he might be looking at taking his place in Roy Hodgson's squad, with the injury to Phil Jagielka seemingly opening up a place for the fixtures against San Marino and Montenegro later this month. Michael Dawson also deserves to be in contention for a place after forcing his way back into the Tottenham Hotspur starting line-up with a string of excellent performances.
England currently have a fair few centre backs making a case to become a regular in the heart of the defence, but no-one has really stood out as a nailed on choice as of yet. The remaining qualifiers should see a handful of defenders given a chance to impress, and Steven Taylor deserves to be one of them.
image: © mikebrown59