Rafa Benitez has admitted that Sammy Ameobi was brought back from Bolton as an insurance against problems of bringing in new players in January.

The United boss says that he still hopes to bring players in before the weekend – though surely even if somebody was signed today they wouldn’t be thrown straight into the action on Saturday. Rafa Benitez having already shown in the summer that he will take his time with easing players into first team action.

Rafa states that he knew Newcastle might have troubles in this window and that this has proved the case, with clubs having been approached but refusing to sell because they are doing well.This apparently being a clear reference to other clubs in the Championship promotion race.

The Newcastle Manager in the meantime has Sammy Ameobi being intensively worked with in training, to try and get him up to speed with what Rafa expects of his players.

Obviously it doesn’t take a genius to work out that if Rafa Benitez is talking about Ameobi being a back-up in case of failings in the transfer market, then clearly wingers/attacking midfielders are at least one of the types of players that he is looking to bring in.

Tom Ince is the latest one to be linked with United.

Whether Sammy Ameobi proves to be short or longer-term insurance remains to be seen.

Rafa Benitez talking to the Chronicle:

“We have been trying to get some players but their clubs are doing well and they don’t want to sell some of them.

“Now, we have to continue searching for something different, ones who can give us that balance that everybody is talking about.

“There is no rush…but at the same time, we want to get the deals done as soon as possible.

We brought Sammy Ameobi back because we knew we were losing players and it would be difficult to do business early in January.

“Hopefully we can do it before Brentford but you never know – sometimes you start talking with clubs and it takes time.

“We are working hard and trying to find some players.

“At the moment he (Sammy Ameobi) is with us, we have trained his schedule because of the way he was training there (at Bolton).

“It is quite difficult because you must be careful and see if he can adapt and do the things in the way we want to do.”