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Rafa Benitez admits after Preston match he needs to get rid of at least 6 players

2 years ago
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Rafa Benitez has some job on his hands with only three weeks to go until the Premier League kicks off.

Saturday saw the United boss use 22 players as Newcastle drew 1-1 at Preston in their second pre-season friendly.

After the game the Newcastle manager spoke about signings he is hoping to make but also pointed out some obstacles towards that happening.

Earlier quotes from Rafa Benitez appeared to suggest to many supporters that bringing in new players could rest to a large extent on bringing in extra money from unwanted players such as Aleksandar Mitrovic.

However, what Rafa said after today’s match, made it even clearer just how big the problem is.

The Spaniard declaring ‘We have too many players now and we need 25 players (Premier League rules dictate at the end of the transfer window you have to name 25 senior players and ten they are the only ones you can use until you’re allowed to make changes in the January window)’.

However, Rafa Benitez still declared, ‘Hopefully we are close to making signings but I don’t know’.

If you see the list of current players below, there are 30 first team squad players but only one of them, Freddie Woodman, qualifies as an under-21 player. For the 2017/18 campaign Under-21 players will have to have been born on or after 1 January 1996, these can be used even if they are not named on the 25-man squad list.

Adam Armstrong would have qualified as an U21 player if he hadn’t gone on loan but on the other hand, new signings Jacob Murphy was born in February 1995, 11 months before that deadline.

With Rafa clearly want signings (plural), it means he needs to shift  minimum of six of this first squad to have space for even two new players, otherwise he would have players he couldn’t even name in his first team squad.

The problem of course goes far deeper than that, with far more players unwanted than that half a dozen figure and Rafa clearly wanting to still bring in a lot more than two extra first team squad signings.

Rafa Benitez:

“Hopefully we are close to making signings but I don’t know – we will have to wait and see.

“We (Rafa and club hierarchy) are in contact all the time – we still have time.

“We have too many players now, so not all of these players can have a future at the club.

“We have too many now and we need 25 players.

“I I don’t know about those leaving, because it depends on other clubs, but we continue to monitor every situation.”

Goalkeepers: Tim Krul, Freddie Woodman (U21), Karl Darlow, Rob Elliott

Defenders: Paul Dummett, Achraaf Lazaar, Massadio Haidara, Jamaal Lascelles, Grant Hanley, Ciaran Clark, Chancel Mbemba, Florian Lejeune, DeAndre Yedlin, Jesus Gamez, Jamie Sterry, Javier Manquillo

Midfielders: Henri Saivet, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Jack Colback, Rolando Aarons, Matt Ritchie, Christian Atsu, Ayoze Perez, Mo Diame, Siem De Jong, Jacob Murphy

Strikers: Dwight Gayle, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Manu Riviere

Out of this list above, I think Rafa Benitez would happily lose Krul, Darlow, Lazaar, Haidara, Hanley, Gamez, Saivet, Colback, de Jong, Mitrovic and Riviere – that is a full 11 players but the question is, just how do you get rid of most of those named?

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