After watching his players demolish Sporting Lokeren with four goals in the opening 48 minutes, Rafa Benitez was understandably in an upbeat mood.

Goals from Shelvey, Janmaat and Perez(2) gave United a four goal win against the Belgian club.

In the press conference that followed, the subject of Gini Wijnaldum predictably came up.

Rafa Benitez, as usual, handled it very well, but declared that though he didn’t have to sell, he thought it was best for Newcastle to allow the £25m part-timer to desert the relegated club after only 12 months at St James Park.

Rafa says that he only wants players who ‘understand what it means to be promoted for the club, the fans, the city’.

Great words from a great manager and as usual, totally in tune with the mood of the fans.

Watch out for a very similar message from Rafa the gaffer when Moussa Sissoko jumps ship

Rafa Benitez:

“I said before that we didn’t need to sell, only if we wanted to sell.

“In this case, we have lost a very good player (Wijnaldum) but I think that was the best decision for him and for us.

“We want to be sure that the players here are really focused and understand what it means to be promoted for the club, the fans, the city.

“Gini was a good player and we allowed him to go to a Premier League club.”

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