A new report claims to identify the five players Rafa Benitez is desperate to bring in when we reach January.

This isn’t exactly breaking news, as these positions have needed quality added ever since the return to the Premier League.

Three transfer windows have already gone by but with Mike Ashley leaving Rafa with both hands tied behind his back, the Newcastle manager has found it all but impossible to make any significant progress.

With the NUFC owner blocking  any buys in the two Januarys under Rafa Benitez so far, it would take a brave/reckless person to believe it will be much different this time around.

In January 2017 the manager was desperate to buy players to ensure promotion and help prepare the team/squad for the likely step up to the Premier League.

Whilst January 2018 saw United in real relegation trouble.

On neither occasion was Mike Ashley prepared to back Rafa Benitez, so why would he do so this time?

It is a savage irony that the answer to that question, is that the chances of the owner allowing money to be spent rapidly increases the worse Newcastle are doing.

Rather than spending money from a position of strength and when NUFC have some momentum, instead it is far more likely cash will be invested in the squad if/when the odds are looking stacked against Premier League survival

The report from The Chronicle under the headline ‘The five positions Rafa wants to strengthen’, identifies the following priorities for the next window:

An offensive left-back

A central-midfield option

A creative midfielder

A pacy winger

A proven top-flight goal-scorer

Whilst the elusive decent level attacking left-back seems to be a never ending search for the club…it is obvious where the real need is.

Newcastle are desperate to sign better players who can create and score goals.

I don’t want to depress anybody but even if Mike Ashley changes his stance on allowing proper investment in the squad, which clubs would be willing to sell the players who are capable of scoring and creating goals?

At least in the summer clubs are more willing to trade because they then have the time/opportunity to replace them

In January you are surely taking far bigger risks in terms of the type of players who could be bought – those with bigger negatives usually attached, such as a poor injury record, no regular football, or taking a risk on players from weaker leagues.

Last January Newcastle go very lucky, as Dubravka made a big difference at one end when arriving on loan, whilst Kenedy, who had hardly played since arriving at Chelsea three years earlier, provided a spark going forward.

Bringing in a goalscorer was a different story. Newcastle missed out on Daniel Sturridge at the last minute, ending up with Islam Slimani on loan instead. Both of those strikers ended up injured, starting only three league matches between them for their loan clubs, scoring no goals.

When promoted, Rafa Benitez and Newcastle’s team were desperate for a quality number 10 and centre-forward, two positions that had to have money spent on them. This summer Rafa was once again blocked from doing so.

I think the reality is that if Newcastle are to survive this time, the vast majority of the answers will need to be found from within the group of players already at the club.

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  • Waxi

    Sorry i did not bother to read the article as we all know we will get now’t from fatty but the bear minimum and we will be linked with loads of quality players and still get now’t. Fatty only shops in the bargain bucket so our only hope is a takeover and that also ain’t gonna happen. You never know the slug might have a change of heart but again the chances of the happening are next to zero.

    • Wor Lass

      I don`t know about the “bear” minimum, Waxi – I thought it was more like a “hoss”.

  • DeadToiler

    I prefer Dummett, a left back who can defend.

    • MadMag83

      I was thinking the same. We have an attacking right back who can’t defend, why would we want the same at left back?

  • Carverlier football

    Ah, typical Chronicle story – obvious, pointless and asking all the wrong questions…

    • JohnnyH

      Were they not the questions put by the Magpie Group at the recent meeting?

  • Rafalution 14

    I think Rafa will get the sack by then. He deserves a break from this s$$t too I reckon. Joe Kinnear can then safely take Newcastle United to championship

  • Paul Patterson

    We might get a freebie in but that’ll be it ..

  • HarryHype59

    How many points will we be from 18th position by January? This relegation battle could be done and dusted by Christmas. I just don’t see this team winning enough games to grt them out of the bottom three.

    • MadMag83

      Me neither.

  • Philippines

    As for a goal scorer, with Muto and Perez now teamed maybe we have some way to a solution? Also, I still think Benitez should try de Yedlin at No 9. He has speed and strength and an accurate shot. Malcolm McDonald converted from a full back. The famous John Charles of Leeds etc converted from centre half. Jack Charlton made a very average striker called Alan Foggon into a top scorer by using his speed. Foggon scored one goal in four games for NUFC then one per two games at Middlesborough.

    • That was when football was a much simpler and not as competitive game. Today, there is no way to convert a 25 year old to a totally different position and have him be competitive within 3-4 months. Besides that, Yedlin – accurate shot? Where are you getting this from?

      • Philippines

        OK, when Supermac was playing is was not so competitive?
        That’s why he used to stop halfway to the goal to give the other lads a chance. As for 3- 4 months not enough?….. how do you know? Bobby Robson has seen Yedlin in training and he says, “eeh, you should see that lad” (as he did with Shola and Bramble), From what I have seen on t’telly Yedlin has 100% shots on goal go in the net. Joking apart, I think you could convert Yedlin to a striker in the closed season.

    • BanJones

      10/10 for imagination there bud.

  • MadMag83

    Our January activity will consist of selling Shelvey to Wet Spam for £30m and replacing him with a loan signing from Qatar.

    • HarryHype59

      Lascelles will go for £35m.Fatty will argue there is plenty of strength in depth at CB.

      • I, nor any of you would mind selling Shelvey or Lascelles if those funds are available for Rafa to improve the team as a whole but we know this will not happen.
        Ideally, I would want us to bank on Lascelles (could be worth up to 50m) if we could buy 2x25M attacking/creative players. I’m fine with selling anybody in this team but I think nobody would be interested in anybody but Lascelles or Shelvey.

    • Mxpx

      Nah quatari work permits are out of our budget we’ve already done well to bring longstaff through the academy why pay for a player he’s shelveys replacement

      • MadMag83

        Joking aside, I’d like to see Longstaff given a run in the side, maybe instead of Diame?

  • Alreet

    He probably will put some money in around jan just to keep the club afloat yet again but it may just be too late.

    Bored of these stories. The only time we will move on is wen the slug is gone