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Newcastle star reveals Rafa Benitez rang to reassure him as he made new signing

3 years ago

Rafa Benitez has already been busy in the transfer market with already fourteen players moving in and out of the club this summer.

However, before making one of his high-profile signings, the Newcastle boss showed great man-management skills when calling one of his current players as the deal went through.

Rob Elliot says that Rafa Benitez rang him to reassure him after his decision to buy Matz Sels, the Spaniard telling Elliot that he was ‘really happy’ with him and ‘I like you as a goalkeeper so don’t worry’.

It would be interesting to know if similar calls were made to Karl Darlow and Tim Krul…

Rob Elliot also revealed that he hasn’t been 100% for the last couple of years and so took the chance to have an extra bit of surgery while recovering from his cruciate knee ligament injury.

The keeper saying he had undergone surgery on his thigh to deal with a longer lasting complaint, which had affected his kicking in particular.

Rob Elliot speaking to Eir Sport:

“It’s quite a cliche for footballers coming back from injury to say they’re feeling stronger.

“But in my case, with the tendon being repaired, I could barely kick a ball towards the end of last season, getting it to the halfway line only.

“My kicking has always been one of my strengths and I lost a bit of that.

“I’m hoping with the work I do in the gym on my thigh and knee that I’ll come back stronger and feel 100%, as I haven’t been like that for a year or two

The manager (Rafa Benitez) phoned me when the club signed Matz Sels and said: ‘I’m really happy with you, it’s good competition – but I like you as a goalkeeper so don’t worry’.

“I told him that competition was good, it only makes you better. It was nice of him to do that he didn’t have to, he could have waited until I saw the transfer.

“It’s good that he’s brought me over (for pre-season training camp in County Kildare) and it’s good that he has told me that he likes me as a goalkeeper but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going to come back into the team.”


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