Rafa Benitez – Eight Newcastle players out and Six in – are these the next ones?
Rafa Benitez has now seen eight players leave and six arrive, in what looks set to be the biggest changeover in playing personnel at Newcastle, certainly in a very long time.
The Rafalution is now shaping up to be more revolution than evolution.
Rafa claimed he was keen on keeping as many of the existing squad together at St James Park but the facts tell us otherwise.
There are now eight senior players who have left Newcastle during the reign of Rafa Benitez:
Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux, Steven Taylor, Seydou Doumbia, Andros Townsend, Fabricio Coloccini, Papiss Cisse and Remy Cabella.
Obertan, Marveaux and Taylor have not had their contracts renewed, Doumbia and NUFC parted company after a disastrous loan spell, whilst both Townsend and Coloccini got their wish to move on.
Papiss Cisse has gone to China in a deal that surely suits everybody concerned, whilst Remy Cabella is clearly now a Marseille player after triggering a permanent move during his loan, only for Newcastle United and Marseille to forget to tell anybody…
In terms of incoming, Gent keeper Sels set the ball rolling, with the solid & exciting signings of Ritchie and Gayle quickly followed. The Friday confirmation of Jesus Gamez then followed by two 20 year olds in Findlay and El-Mhanni grabbing contracts.
The six Rafa Benitez incoming:
Matz Sels, Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Jesus Gamez, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Stuart Findlay.
So that is 14 transfers in and out and still over seven weeks of the transfer window to go…
In terms of cash in and out, the players bought so far appear to have cost Newcastle around £30m, whilst those who have gone out (if you include Cabella) have brought in approximately around £25m.
When you take into account that all eight who have left were first team squad players, including top earners such as Coloccini, Doumbia, Cisse, Cabella and Townsend. Once you include wages in the equation, then I think some very smart Rafa Benitez business has left Newcastle United pretty much balancing their books on transfer trading so far.
A bit like having a car boot sale, then going to a proper shop and spending the proceeds.
What next though?
Saturday morning has brought news of Newcastle having two failed bids for centre-back Grant Hanley but expected to go back with another. Whilst Arsenal’s versatile 21 year old defender, Isaac Hayden, is claimed to have passed his medical and set to be named as Newcastle’s fifth signing (seven if you include the two 20 year olds).
The exit door is going to keep swinging though, with the futures of Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita all to be decided. Like Papiss Cisse they are all now in the final year of their contracts and Krul & Tiote certainly look set to leave, with the future of Anita an interesting one.
Newcastle fans assume Florian Thauvin will be leaving, the only question whether permanently or on loan, whilst Siem de Jong will surely be getting away, almost certainly initially on loan considering his injury problems, as he desperately needs to try and get his career kickstarted again.
I think it is quite clear that we will have double figures in both the in and out columns once we reach September and the football club will be all the better for it.
Managers succeed or fail largely based on their transfer decisions and of course in Rafa we trust.
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