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Opinion

Rafa Benitez quotes prove to ring true on this Newcastle United transfer window

1 year ago
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When he was forced to walk away from Newcastle United five weeks ago, Rafa Benitez gave us many insights into what had gone on at the football club.

Obviously, the recruitment (or not) of player was one of the key topics.

In light of what has/hasn’t happened at NUFC so far in this summer transfer window, worth revisiting what he said.

Rafa Benitez talking at the start of July after not extending his stay:

“If I start talking about every problem we had, then it will be wasting energy.

“It is not a time to criticise, but a time to analyse.

“People talk about power, money and control, but it wasn’t about that.

“It was about doing things right.

“At Newcastle, we didn’t have the money the top sides had, so the first or second choice targets were really important because the third or fourth ones would be worse and worse and then you lose something.

“You work so hard to prepare for your signings and then you have to move quickly to get them.

“Sometimes we weren’t doing that.”

It is now only five days until the transfer window closes, so how do those Rafa Benitez comments reflect on Newcastle United’s business.

Well when it comes to ‘move quickly to get them’ and getting them integrated into the team/squad, we can see that has been a massive fail for NUFC in this window.

Joelinton was signed on the 68th day of the transfer window and ASM (Allan Saint-Maximin) & Jetro Willems on the 79th of 85 days in the window.

The Brazilian getting a couple of weeks of pre-season to acclimatise and integrate, whilst for the other two (plus any other late signings), it will be a matter of days this coming week in training.

All about ‘doing things right’…well I don’t think anybody would put Mike Ashley’s summer in that category.

When we get to the ‘…first or second choice targets were really important because the third or fourth ones would be worse and worse and then you lose something.’

Well when it comes to choices, we don’t even know who is doing the choosing, it certainly isn’t Steve Bruce.

Are these three signings so far ‘first’ choices?

Well Joelinton was certainly Mike Ashley’s first choice as he has revealed the signing was first arranged in February, though he (Joelinton) wan’t Rafa’s. Which then begs the question though of why then wait so long to sign the Brazilian, even after Rafa had gone? Why not get the striker in ASAP to give him and the team the best chance of preparing properly, instead NUFC played without a first choice striker in the games in China.

ASM might or might not have been a first or second choice on Ashley’s/somebody’s list but media reports of NUFC interest pre-dated Steve Bruce’s arrival, so once again it shows he has no say in recruitment. Difficult to say for sure on whether he was near the top of a list but what we know for sure is that the signing dragged on and on with no urgency to get him in.

As for the loan signing of left-back Jetro Willems (and any other signings that might still happen), clearly there hasn’t been any moving quickly for them and they definitely aren’t first choices. Newcastle have been linked with a number of left-backs in past weeks and clearly had been trying to buy Stanley N’Soki from PSG. So a bit like Barreca in January, Willems comes in on loan, if he had been near the top of any list then surely it would have been a permanent deal from the start.

You welcome all new signings and HOPE they are going to be successful BUT when the signings are made in such a chaotic way, with no sensible plan or intention of preparing properly for the season, it can’t help but dilute that hope and expectation.

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