Stepping up to the Premier League was always going to be a tough call for Newcastle United, along with the other promoted clubs.
Much has been made of the small net transfer spend made available to Rafa Benitez.
Only £11.5m net spend for the Magpies, compared to £40m+ for both Brighton and Huddersfield.
Maybe though it wasn’t the actual size of the transfer fees that was the biggest problem.
In his past career, Rafa Benitez has been a manager who has definitely veered more towards more experienced players, rather than relying on youth.
I can’t believe he wasn’t desperate to add Premier League experienced players in the summer and with limited funds, you would have been looking at mainly older players, with high wages.
Certainly the media constantly told us in the summer window that Rafa wanted this type of player and it seems clear that he was blocked in doing so.
Buying players with no future increase in transfer value possible, was once again deemed unacceptable by Mike Ashley.
You can’t ignore just how little Premier League experience there is in the current Newcastle squad.
These are the players who Rafa relied on against Leicester, with the number of Premier League starts each one has made in their entire career:
12 Karl Darlow
32 DeAndre Yedlin
10 Florian Lejeune
131 Ciaran Clark
38 Javier Manquillo
51 Matt Ritchie
12 Isaac Hayden
9 Mikel Merino
6 Jacob Murphy
34 Dwight Gayle
59 Ayoze Perez
11 Christian Atsu
22 Aleksandar Mitrovic
Ciaran Clark is way ahead of the rest and Matt Ritchie only had one top tier season with Bournemouth before this one with Newcastle.
Javier Manquillo is actually third most experienced in terms of the Premier League in that starting 11 and he actually played his previous matches on loan, at both Liverpool and Sunderland.
Rafa Benitez must be given the flexibility and backing to bring in Premier League quality and experience in January, otherwise things are going to be really tough.