I have total faith in Rafa Benitez but only if he is given the necessary tools to be fighting on a more or less level playing field.
That doesn’t mean having the same kind of financial muscle as those at the very top of the tree but certainly Newcastle need to be competing with players chased by at least half of the division.
Not knocking the signings made so far (though they do look more like squad signings, with possible/probably exception of Jacob Murphy) but until Newcastle go above their 12 year old transfer record that was paid for Michael Owen, I will find it hard to believe that Rafa Benitez has the necessary backing from Mike Ashley, whatever coded words (‘every last penny’) were used when the owner was giving the manager assurances in May.
A bit worrying then this morning to see these Rafa Benitez quotes below in the Chronicle, the article being about the manager looking to bring in more essential players, with there appearing to be an emphasis particularly on signing a quality striker.
Rafa Benitez talks about players in and out, saying ‘We are trying to change some players. We have to wait to see the right offers and then after, we will see if we can add some players’.
The inference clearly appears to be, that players need to go, before Rafa can go for who he really wants.
The newspaper talks of the likes of Riviere and Mitrovic needing to generate decent transfer fees…well clearly we’ll be lucky to give Riviere away and as for Mitrovic, you’d surely be luck to get anywhere close to £10m rather than the £16m or more that is being speculated.
This leads me to think of two potential/possible scenarios…
Firstly, if Rafa can indeed force through and deal, in or out, then if he was allowed to find a club to take on Riviere at a minimal/no fee and allowed to sell Mitrovic for say £8m, then with the savings in wages on the two players and transfer fee(s), he could potentially then use that towards landing a striker for up to say £20m.
Secondly, if Rafa has the final say on transfers in and out BUT when it comes to selling players that depends on receiving offers acceptable to Ashley/Charnley, then I foresee serious problems.
If Mitrovic can only leave if bids of around £15m/£16m are received and anything more than a minimal amount for Riviere, then realistically I can’t see how we can realistically shift these unwanted players…and more importantly, then does it make the recruitment of real quality players impossible?
The same situation is say a new Number 10 is wanted by Rafa Benitez, which is surely the case, isn’t it? If unrealistic bids for the likes of Siem de Jong, Henri Saivet, Ayoze Perez and/or Mohamed Diame need to be banked first, it also makes that necessary buy maybe impossible.
With only three weeks until the start of the season and less than six weeks until the closing of the transfer window, fans can be nothing but worried until more heavyweight signings are made. Spending money doesn’t guarantee success but not spending it does usually pretty much guarantee failure.
Rafa Benitez speaking to The Chronicle:
“We are trying to change some players.
“We have to wait to see the right offers and then after, we will see if we can add some players.
“I think we need some more players, I wouldn’t say how many, but it also depends on the market.
“Mike (Ashley) convinced me he would give us the last penny of the money available.
“We are not asking for more, we are asking for the money we can use.
“We can generate some more money. Hopefully we can do that.
“The market is a little bit crazy but still we can compete in our market, if we do well. Hopefully we can do that.”
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