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Rafa Benitez reality check for Newcastle fans “We are not buying top class players”

4 years ago

With Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo set to be formally announced as Newcastle’s latest signings, Rafa Benitez has given a bit of a reality check to some supporters, as well as the media.

The United boss says that there is no doubt ‘we need to improve the squad’ and that ‘it is important to have more additions.

However, Rafa says that everybody, including himself, has to be realistic at this point in time.

The manager happily admits that in Lejeune, Atsu, Murphy and Manquillo ‘we are not signing top class players in the Premier League’.

Instead, Rafa Benitez declares ‘ we are signing the players we can and the players who can do a job for us’.

The capture of Jacob Murphy has been broadly welcomed by fans but Javier Manquillo has been met plenty of scepticism, after the defender failed to impress in a very poor Sunderland side last season when on loan.

You don’t really need Rafa to state the obvious, that paying prices of £6.2m and £8.8m for Atsu and Lejeune, then reportedly £12m and £5m for Murphy and Manquillo, isn’t going to get you top class players who have a perfect CV. Not when this transfer market has seen the likes of Championship clubs Wolves and Middlesbrough spending £16m and £15m on players to try and get out of the second tier.

Risks have to be taken to give Newcastle a squad capable of competing next season and the reality for say Manquillo in particular, is that he is almost certainly simply back up/competition for DeAndre Yedlin at right-back. Supporters have to get used to this new experience of having a manager who insists on building a squad, whereas McClaren and Pardew simply had no say in Mike Ashley not allowing them that luxury.

All signings will be relative gambles, that Lejeune can build on his breakthrough season in La Liga last season, at 26 years old his first full year of football in a top league.

While with Atsu and particularly Murphy, there will be the hope that they can step up and prove they can turn promise into Premier League achievement.

That doesn’t mean that every signing has to be the same level and I do believe that there are further signings to come, with at least one or two surely that will have transfer fees that are north of the £12m Murphy one.

They still might not be top class Premier League players but certainly ones that Rafa will see as gambles with the odds more in his favour.

Rafa Benitez:

“It’s important to have more additions, we need to improve the squad.

“We are not signing top class players in the Premier League.

“We are signing the players we can and the players who can do a job for us.

“I am really pleased with Jacob Murphy, he has shown character and personality.

“He has pace as well…but it is also his desire to play for Newcastle.

“Sometimes, when you are looking for a player, you are thinking  whether they are technically good enough, or if they have pace or can score goals or are good tactically.

“In this case, the main thing is that while we have a player who has pace and can score goals, but also wants to play for Newcastle United.

“We were here in Ireland last year and we were talking about his brother (Josh – who is also with Norwich).

“We liked his brother and we spoke about him – I was following both of them, but I think we have signed the right one, the one that I wanted.

“I have received a lot of information about both, and it was positive about both of them, but in this case, we wanted the type of player (Jacob Murphy is) and were happy with that.

“We will see if he can reproduce his Championship performances the Premier League – he has the potential to do that.”


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