Rafa Benitez had to duck and dive in the summer transfer window, a host of players once again left the club but with Mike Ashley only allowing an £11.5m net spend, the United boss had to be canny with his incoming transfers.
The United boss believes all six summer transfers will show their worth to Newcastle supporters in time – but says it is a simple fact that some will take longer than others.
The 21 year old midfielder has been an instant hit and Rafa Benitez says it is ‘easier for the fans to see what (players like him) are bringing’ to this Newcastle team.
At the other end of the spectrum, Rafa’s biggest signing of the summer, Jacob Murphy, needs more time according to the manager, before he will be ready to show fans what he can do. The relative success in the opening seven matches has helped protect the likes of Murphy from demands for him to start games, so many times in the past Newcastle have signed players and thrown them straight in when they are not ready, ruining any chance of long-term success. So great to have a manager at last who can see the bigger picture.
Benitez indicates that each player has to be taken as an individual and his attention to detail is renowned, in working with players to get the best out of them.
In Joselu’s case the manager points to two areas where the striker has to overcome initial problems, Rafa talking about a lack of playing time, the striker having started only 19 league games in the previous two seasons and not having a great deal of time on the pitch in pre-season at Stoke. Benitez also talks about pressure/anxiety with the former Real Madrid player, missed chances against Stoke and Brighton no doubt adding to those early nerves.
“Sometimes with quality with (somebody like) Mikel Merino, it’s easier for the fans to see what they are bringing, but the other summer signings, each one is doing their job.”
“People were criticising Manquillo saying he had not done well at Liverpool and Sunderland – but he was not coming to start the season, he was coming to stay on the bench and then little by little, to start playing more – but then DeAndre Yedlin got injured and he had to play – at right-back and then the other day (v Liverpool) at left-back.
“It is a question of time that, he will keep improving, you go to Jacob Murphy and he is another one who is a young player, who trains well. He has Atsu and Ritchie playing well, so he needs some time to make sure he will be fine.
“Florian Lejeune was doing really well – excellent in pre-season and then he was injured (v Spurs). Clark and Lascelles have been playing well, so I wanted to carry on with them, but Lejeune is another who can give us something different in defence. He is quite comfortable on the ball and can win it in the air. Improving our possession statistics – maybe he can help with that.
“We knew about the potential of Joselu and we know he is a player that was not playing too much and he has to improve physically, then he will improve in other areas. Joselu is a good finisher in training sessions and have to be sure we can replicate what he does in the training sessions in matches. A mixture of things though that you have to manage, sometimes anxiety, sometimes pressure.
“You have to be sure that you have players available and that they can compete for positions. I think that the five plus one (Christian Atsu) signings, they will all give us something at certain points. Some right now and some will need more time, but they will all give us something different and (the team/squad) will be a bit better compared with last season.”