Rafa Benitez made 12 Newcastle signings last summer and of course none in January.

So how successful have the dozen new faced proved in the Championship and maybe just as importantly, who has something to offer moving forward?

With only the final game to go against Barnsley, listed below is each player with the number of Championship minutes on the pitch this season.

Also, I have given all 12 players a rating, with a guide as follows:

A – Has proved a good signing for the Championship this season and will be able to do it in Premier League.

B – Has proved a good signing for the Championship this season and might be able to do it in Premier League.

C – Has proved a good signing for the Championship this season and maybe worth keeping as a squad player in Premier League.

D – Has proved an average signing for the Championship this season and will need to find another club.

E – Has proved a poor signing for the Championship this season and will need to find another club.

The Championship minutes of each of the 12 signings, with games started and then in brackets how many times came on as a sub:

3546 Matt Ritchie – Started 40 (+2) – Sat on bench 2 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating A

3034 Ciaran Clark – Started 34 (+0) – Sat on bench 4 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating A

2383 Mohamed Diame – Started 27 (+9) – Sat on bench 14 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating E

2325 Isaac Hayden – Started 27 (+5) – Sat on bench 9 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating B

2136 Dwight Gayle – Started 26 (+5) – Sat on bench 7 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating A

1831 DeAndre Yedlin – Started 20 (+6) – Sat on bench 15 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating B

1477 Christian Atsu – Started 14 (+17) – Sat on bench 21 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating D

810 Matz Sels – Started 9 (+0) – Sat on bench 19 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating E

687 Daryl Murphy – Started 7 (+8) – Sat on bench 11 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating C

526 Grant Hanley – Started 5 (+5) – Sat on bench 22 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating E

201 Jesus Gamez – Started 2 (+3) – Sat on bench 18 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating E

36 Achraf Lazaar – Started 0 (+4) – Sat on bench 19 times (both when used or unused sub) Rating E

Obviously it is all down to opinion but a few things stand out overall for me with the 12 Newcastle signings.

The possible maximum total was 4050 minutes (45 matches x 90 minutes) and only two players, Ritchie and Clark, played significantly more than around half of the potential minutes.

If it hadn’t been for injuries, Dwight Gayle and Isaac Hayden would have joined them in that group.

On the other hand we see at the bottom, two players where the moves haven’t worked out well at all – with Matz Sels and Achraf Lazaar looking certain to be looking for new clubs this summer.

Three others have played very little but clearly they were all brought in with short-term thinking, to be valuable cover at this level. With no real injury crisis: Hanley, Murphy and Gamez have rarely played.

Christian Atsu and DeAndre Yedlin are two players who probably hoped for/expected more time on the pitch but have had to share their positions with Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran respectively.

Obviously Atsu is only a loan player whereas Yedlin was a permanent buy, with Gouffran and Anita out of contract at the end of the season, it is debatable whether either will get a new deal. Yedlin looks set to have a go in the Premier League but I can’t see Rafa Benitez committing £6.5m on a winger (Atsu) who hasn’t been able to do it on a regular basis in the second tier.

Matt Ritchie and Ciaran Clark have both been massive successes and I have every confidence they can play their part at the higher level.

On the other hand, Mohamed Diame has been shocking and probably the most disappointing signing. Only getting the third highest amount of minutes of the 12 signings, by virtue of the fact that the other competition for the number 10 role (Ayoze Perez) was just as unconvincing except for odd moments.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • TheNutJob

    Sels £5m, Mo Mo £5m, Hanley £5m, Lazaar £3m. 18 million how much they worth now because they need to be offloaded

  • Leicester Mag

    Assessment of Hayden and Atsu seem harsh. I’d actually go as far as saying Hayden is the player I’d most back to succeed in the Prem. As you say though all about opinion

  • Jamie Smith

    I would have to say I don’t disagree with any assessment there.

  • Tim Boddy

    Ritchie, Clark, Hayden, Gayle – superb!

    Yedlin, Atsu – decent, worth retaining.

    Sels, Murphy, Hanley, Gamez, Lazaar, Diame – all the best, but bye bye.

    • Tim Boddy

      Diame in particular. I don’t know what he’s supposed to be for.

    • Leazes Ender

      Ten years of Ashley…. two relegations and you want more of the same…. yes please yummy.

      • Tim Boddy

        Eh? What are you on about? Where did I say anything that suggested I’m happy with Ashley? You’ve added up two and two and come up with a bacon sandwich there, pal.

  • Lord

    Isaac Hayden (young and English) will be our most valuable player if we can keep him for a few years and don’t get relegated straight away.

  • Cuh736

    I think Lazaar may yet have a role to play. Let’s just see how things pan out

  • GeordieZebra

    Waste of time article.