Rafa Benitez reveals what he has told Antonio Barreca as to why he has been ignored
Rafa Benitez has revealed what has been said to Antonio Barreca.
The Italian defender having arrived from Monaco in January on a loan deal, which includes an £8m permanent fee that can be activated if he impresses.
Only one problem, he has not actually had any chance to impress, give or take four minutes.
Mirroring the experience of many Newcastle players who went out on loan in January, Antonio Barreca has been left on the sidelines without any football.
He was included straight away in the squad to face Tottenham after arriving and actually made an appearance at Wembley, four minutes plus injury time.
However, since then he hasn’t played a minute and hasn’t even made the bench.
Rafa says he felt it necessary to take the left sided player to one side due to his lack of football, in order to explain the situation.
The manager saying that he told Barreca ‘he was coming to compete’, and that he has trained and integrated well so far, BUT is a victim of changing circumstances.
Those circumstances being that Matt Ritchie has looked better and better with every game he has played at left wing-back.
Whilst on top of that, Paul Dummett is now fit as well and presumably ahead of Antonio Barreca when it comes to getting on the pitch or even the subs bench.
Rafa having gone from having numerous players absent, to now having a more or less full squad, with Ciaran Clark the only defender ruled out at the moment, as well as Elliot and Longstaff.
With the likes of Fernandez, Shelvey, Kenedy and others all left out of the matchday squads as well, it is hard to see Antonio Barreca getting his chance.
Unless of course Newcastle can get to safety early on, then the manager could have a risk-free look at the loan signing.
A harsh reality but just like Elias Sorensen at Blackpool, clubs are going to take care of themselves first, rather than making the needs of a loan player their priority.
Rafa Bentez talking about Antonio Barreca to BBC Newcastle:
“I was talking with him because he was not in the squad after playing against Tottenham in the beginning.
“I was explaining that obviously he was coming to compete.
“He is training well.
“You can see he now knows, more or less, what we are trying to do.
“But at the same time, we have competition.
“Dummett has come back and Ritchie is doing well in this position.
“This competition is good news for us and bad news for him, at the moment.”
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