Rafa Benitez says it was vital to bring in players who ‘understand English football’, it being a bonus if they also had experience of the ‘physicality and intensity’ of life in the Championship.
In Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie, the Newcastle boss believes that he has signed the perfect players to help United cope with the demands of the upcoming 46 match season.
As for further signings, Rafa Benitez says that he has got more players lined up BUT those signings hinge on other players leaving St James Park.
It isn’t the biggest surprise, as keeping all of the current squad and buying more players expected to go straight into the first team, would leave even more very highly paid players on Premier League wages sitting on the sidelines.
Monday already had brought reports of Fabricio Coloccini only being allowed to leave once a replacement was identified. However, with no transfer fee expected on the current Newcastle Captain, realistically you have to expect somebody else to leave as well to help generate cash for a decent centre-back to be added to Lascelles and Mbemba.
The other obvious problem is of course that Newcastle have such a lopsided squad, made even worse by the fact that of only nine signings last season, only one was a defender.
Whilst Doumbia’s loan didn’t work out and Townsend has now jumped ship, it still means that Coloccini’s departure would mean Newcastle losing three defenders/centre-backs in the last six months to decrease the numbers even further at the back.
No doubt Rafa would love to shift the likes of Riviere and Cisse, plus the midfield area is seriously over-staffed. Thauvin is one who obviously they are trying to shift but the likelihood is, that at least one of the big name attacking players such as Wijnaldum or Sissoko will be leaving and that money used by Rafa Benitez to revamp his defensive options.
A bit like the lead-up to last week’s three signings in 48 hours when Rafa had reassured us that deals were in place and waiting for a trigger, we now look to be heading for a similar situation, whereby once a key player or two leaves St James Park, we will quickly see two or three coming in.
The relief amongst Newcastle fans is very clear, having somebody like Rafa pulling the strings on transfers is a world away from the circus that existed for so long under Mike Ashley.
“We are still working and we have some players there ready.
“The difficult thing about the market is that you have to buy and you have to sell.
“So that depends on if you receive offers for players that maybe we consider that they can leave, and after, also, try to find the right players for us.
“It was important for me that we could bring in players that could understand English football.
“The Championship is quite difficult. They (Ritchie and Gayle) understand what it means to play here and the physicality and intensity of the game.”