It was this time last year when Rafa Benitez first went public with his frustrations about the lack of transfer action, whilst the first team squad were at their training camp in Ireland.
The manager calling on Mike Ashley to ‘keep his promises’ and properly support him in strengthening the squad.
That one didn’t end too well, in the final 34 days of last summer’s transfer window, only Joselu arrived at St James Park. It is now only 27 days until this summer’s transfer window closes…
Twelve months on and Rafa Benitez has once again been more than happy to talk about not enough happening so far when it comes to transfers.
He hasn’t gone down the ‘keeping promises’ line, yet, but he asks the question ‘What does it mean to compete?’
Rafa Benitez says that if he has a strong enough squad then Newcastle could look to finish middle of the table or maybe even higher.
On the other hand, if the United boss doesn’t have the squad he needs by the time the window closes…’if we aren’t strong enough, we will try to avoid relegation because every single team is spending some money.’
Rafa says ‘We know what we need to do (on transfers) and we must try.’
Having a team, and a club, that tries is all Newcastle fans expect, but there is little sign so far of proper support in the transfer market yet again.
Both Cardiff and Wolves have a net spend of £25m+ each already, whilst the third promoted team, Fulham, spent £35m on Thursday on two players, with the promise of more to come.
I don’t think anybody is unhappy with the signings of Dubravka and Kenedy, although it is a disappointment that there appears to have been no effort made to buy him and really build for the future.
Ki Sung-yueng is a fair enough squad signing on a free but unless some other real quality players arrive, with significant money spent, then difficult to see anything but another relegation struggle, as Rafa Benitez himself indicates.
Newcastle might be able to put together a first eleven that most fans would be reasonably happy with, if a credible goalscorer was signed, but there is next to no real strength in depth, in terms of players you would be happy to see playing regularly in the Premier League.
At the minute Mike Ashley is sitting on a profit in this summer’s transfer window, that rapidly needs to change.
Rafa Benitez talking to the Chronicle:
“What does it mean to compete?
“If we are strong enough to compete in the table to finish in the middle or the table or higher, but if we aren’t strong enough, we will try to avoid relegation because every single team is spending some money.
“You hear people saying ‘This team or that team hasn’t signed anybody yet either’…
“But they have squads that are already strong anyway.
“We know what we need to do and we must try.”