Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans Trust in Rafa on Toon Signings. Let's Hope Ashley Backs Him Too

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans Trust in Rafa on Toon Signings. Let's Hope Ashley Backs Him Too

Article excerpt

Byline: LEERYDER Analysing life in Black & White

WITH just over two weeks left of the January transfer window Newcastle United's squad are clearly in need of a lift.

Rafa Benitez could have just 17 players available for the FA Cup replay due to a combination of cup-tied players, injuries and those on duty at the African Cup of Nations.

When Benitez opted against taking the breakout clause in his contract last summer to lead Newcastle's promotion charge it seemed clear that the Spaniard was in full control of transfers.

That resulted in an excellent summer of business, with players like Dwight Gayle, already on 20 goals this term, Matt Ritchie, Mo Diame, DeAndre Yedlin and Christian Atsu all arriving and playing big parts in the club's promotion bid.

Now, midway through the transfer window, well-placed sources a r e reporting that chief scout Graham Carr will again have a "direct role" in future purchases. The report also states that Mike Ashley wants a "return to the policy of buying young players with promise."

And there is no getting away from the fact that Newcastle's owner has never been a fan of signing what he regards as "trophy players" or those with their best years behind them.

Newcastle's transfer blueprint seemed clear when Benitez took over and there was talk of a new era.

Surely, though, Benitez is a man who can be trusted to get things right in the transfer market? Last summer's business from Benitez resulted in massive profit as Newcastle managed to pick up deals worth PS55m for two members of a relegated team in Moussa Sissoko and Gini Wijnaldum alone. As we await further comment from Newcastle on what happens next, it's worth turning the clock back to last summer.

It will interesting how operate remainder transfer Lee Benitez had revealed some assurances in May and said: "Football business, I will have responsibility of. …

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