Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has revealed that he recommended both Ciaran Clark and Daryl Murphy to Rafa Benitez.

Obviously I don’t think Rafa just took Elliot’s opinion as 100% proof that they’d be good signings but it would be natural if he had these players under consideration, that he might ask somebody’s opinion who knew them – the Newcastle keeper an international teammate of the pair.

Fair to say that Ciaran Clark hasn’t totally convinced Newcastle fans yet, Aston Villa supporters appeared pretty unconcerned he was leaving and a nervous display against Reading, along with a daft penalty given away, didn’t help his case. Filling in at left-back against Bristol City he was no more than average at best.

Hard to see him being more than a squad player at best.

Daryl Murphy is maybe the more interesting of the two and with 50 goals in the past three Championship seasons for a struggling Ipswich Town, he certainly has the credentials at this level.

Whether he will live up to Rob Elliot’s billing as ‘…someone who is exciting to watch; he’s quick, he’s strong, he’s good in the air and ticks all the boxes’, remains to be seen.

Looking at his goals footage (see below) he certainly looks a right handful in the air and the way that he attacks the ball is something that we didn’t see an awful lot of from Aleksandar Mitrovic last season. Having said that, the supply was so poor last campaign it is really hard to judge him based on that – with six of Newcastle’s eight Championship goals coming from set-pieces this season, there is hope for plenty more from the likes of Murphy and Mitrovic.

We recently asked fans ahead of Saturday’s match, who they would like to see up front alongside Dwight Gayle against Derby – Ayoze Perez was voted a non-starter but very little to choose between Mitrovic, Diame and Murphy.

Interesting to see who Rafa Benitez does go with at the weekend but great to see at last a Newcastle manager with a bit of a squad to play with.

Rob Elliot talking to NUFC TV:

“The manager spoke to me a couple of times about players, and I mentioned Ciaran (Clark) and Daryl (Murphy) – and a few of the other Ireland boys, because they are a great bunch.

“I think they (Ciaran Clark and Daryl Murphy) bring a real strong mentality to the club and they were both desperate to come and be a part of something.

“Ciaran’s got a long future ahead of him. He can play in a lot of positions and he’s a real winner; a tough centre-half to play against.

“Daryl Murphy brings a lot of experience, especially at this level, and a cool head. He is someone who is exciting to watch; he’s quick, he’s strong, he’s good in the air and ticks all the boxes.

“For me, they’re great additions. They’re great footballers but the mentality they’ll bring to the squad will be a massive bonus and obviously with Daryl getting his goal the other night, hopefully that’ll be great timing and he will hit the ground running here.”