One of the more interesting signings in the summer, the story of Jesus Gamez at Newcastle United so far, has been a bit of a subdued one.
Having a strong CV in both La Liga and the Champions League, when Rafa Benitez brought in the 31 year old it was safe to assume that most Newcastle fans expected him to come straight into the team to give an instant injection of quality.
Instead, Jesus Gamez started on the bench at Fulham on the opening day and had to wait until the 23 August for his first Newcastle appearance, playing the full 90 minutes in the League Cup against Cheltenham.
Four days later he played his first Championship minutes, coming on in the 72nd minute of the 2-0 win over Brighton, so signs that he was at last being integrated into the team.
However, nothing was then heard of the Spaniard for weeks and the sheer size of Newcastle’s squad helps to deflect attention away from players who aren’t being selected.
It was Monday 19 September when Rafa Benitez then surprised everybody when revealing the former Malaga and Atletico Madrid had actually been suffering with a calf injury, rather than still acclimatising to English football.
Rafa Benitez 19 September 2016:
“Jesus Gamez has an issue with his calf.
“We will have to keep treating him for a few days and see how he reacts.”
Moving forward over three weeks later and the Newcastle boss has now revealed that the treatment/training plan they had mapped out for the Spanish defender didn’t work.
So after a change of treatment Rafa is now hoping Jesus Gamez can offer an alternative at both left and right-back after this international break.
Whilst most fans appear to be more than happy with either DeAndre Yedlin or Vurnon Anita on the right, fair to say that left-back is still seen as one of Newcastle’s biggest problem positions. Paul Dummett continues to struggle at times and Lazaar looks still to be some way off being ready for English football, so having played on the left for Atletico Madrid, Jesus Gamez could be a big step forward when he is ready to step up.
Difficult to see him being thrown straight into the team but interesting to see if Rafa Benitez includes Gamez on the bench on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez speaking to the Chronicle 12 October 2016:
“When we signed him (Jesus Gamez), we were bringing in an experienced player who could play on both sides of the defence.
“For us it has been a pity.
“But the good thing I would say about him was, he was training every day and not missing anything, he was pushing himself.
“The bad thing was, it wasn’t enough, so we decided to stop him and start another treatment and we’ll see if he’s fine now.”