Rafa Benitez Keen On This Young England Midfielder


Last summer Newcastle were interested in Leeds United’s 19 year-old Lewis Cook – and news today is that Rafa Benitez may be interested in bringing the player to St. James’ Park this summer.

The youngster has only one year left ion his contract at Leeds, where he had another very good season and he has so far played 85 times for Leeds United with two goals – and he looks like a future star player in the making.

Some top Premier League clubs are also said to be interested in the 9 times capped England U19 International

lewis cok leeds

Lewis Cook – 19 year-old English central midfielder

Cook was named the Football League Young Player of the Year for last season and he can play in either central midfield role and also on the wing.

He has played for the England U16, U17, U18 and U19 teams and has 27 youth caps in total for England so far.

Cook was born in York and he joined Leeds when he was 7 years old and eventually came through their Youth Academy.

He made his professional debut in the first game of the season before last – in August, 2014 – coming on as a substitute against Millwall, and he has been a regular in the first team ever since.

Rafa Benitez is now in total control of all transfers into and out of the club, so anybody we are interested in means Rafa is interested in the player – always assuming the reports are accurate.

Benitez may want to bring in some top youngsters to the club this summer, and then  he can integrate them into the squad and they will get to know how Rafa wants the team to play.

We have already seen how Benitez can quickly improve players like Andros Townsend, so it’s likely he could do the same with a number of top youngsters in the Newcastle squad, which will have to be bigger than last season for the 46 game Championship season.

It’s gong to be interesting to see just which players Rafa brings in during the summer months, since he is under no pressure from owner Mike Ashley to sell any of the players we currently have.

Comments welcome.


100 comments so far

  • Griff-toon

    May 26, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #1

    Repost

    Cjtoon

    Good post! I an also a long time reader of the blog and rarely post. But I always whant to be more active.

    I have some coments to your list:

    Townsend – I actually Dont think he will leave. He has takkes about his admiration for Raffa and likes playing for him.

    Thauvin – Marseilles cant afford him, so hes coming back. Might be able to do a job under Rafa in the Champ.

    Collo – who would want him? Might be able to do a good job in Champ. Where speed is not that important

    The rest, I think you might be right. But I think some of the players might whant to be a part of this Rafa project and stay. like Aarons or Gini.

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  • Griff-toon

    May 26, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #2

    Townsend has talked about his admiration. Auto correct

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  • Sir Eric

    May 26, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #3

    I can see Thauvin going back to Marseilles on loan.

    Cook would be a good addition, I’d be really pleased if we brought him in.

    I really hope we bring in a goalscorer though, I don’t think Armstrong is ready to be anything more than 3rd choice. Watching the matches all season, we just didn’t seem like a dangerous team, that’s down to chance creation as well as just not having players in the box.

    I’m curious to see what our style of play will be with a full preseason and window under our belt.

    Call me old fashioned, but I really miss playing with two up top.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #4

    Good player today i was even mentioning we should go after this guy and Will Hughes lol

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #5

    Lots of first time and not so often posters. Great news, we can get back to 1000 comments a thread (except in Ed’s trigger happy morning).

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #6

    JP,
    We’ve heard Will Hughes and Tom Ince just less than Charlie Austin. I want a good quality LB and ST brought in.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #7

    Carrick would be a much better option if at all possible. CM isn’t a priority anyway unless players depart.

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  • JamesToon

    May 26, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #8

    Sir Eric

    In terms of style of play, I expect and hope to see more of the same against Spurs in the first half, attacked with dynamism, and were organised compact and pressed the middle of the pitch.

    I think we definitely need to bring in a centre half, left back defensive mid and a striker regardless of who leaves.

    Then depending on who else leaves, we could need a new right back, centre mid and winger.

    Think McCormack would be a very shrewd signing at £8-12m may seem a bit overpriced but he will guarantee goals. People worrying about whether he’d cut it in the prem, I think he would due to the fact a lot of prolific championship strikers have, but why on earth we are worrying about that now I don’t know, we need to get out of the championship first.

    Hope we could get someone like Carrick on a free, add experience to the midfield, and as for a centre half would like any of Batth from wolves, dunk or Caulker or possibly Agger.

    I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some Spanish/South American young players come on loan from any top academies, Rafa will have a massive range of contracts and knows all the top leagues (and with his database)

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  • Ron Knee

    May 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #9

    magscar

    I posted this a little earlier:

    Burnley W26; D15; L5
    Brighton W24; D17; L5

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  • JamesToon

    May 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #10

    JFA

    Charlie Taylor I think won the fans player of the year for Leeds think he’d be a decent signing at left back and only 22

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #11

    JT,
    Never heard of him, but players like that have to be looked at, wish we’d got Patrick Van wallnut when we had the chance.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #12

    JFA- yup LB and ST our priority positions right now. Then CBs and ship out the dead wood and see what else we need.

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  • JamesToon

    May 26, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #13

    I also expect and hope the following defo leave:
    Coloccini
    Taylor
    Riviere
    Cisse
    Gouffran

    Then there’s these players who possibly could force a move:
    Krul
    Janmaat
    Haidara
    Aarons
    Sissoko
    Wijnaldum
    Shelvey
    Townsend
    Tiote
    Anita
    Thauvin

    Think this window will go either two ways, one is that anyone that doesn’t want to be here Rafa could just tell them to F off, which could be a lot so there could be a major overhaul

    Or

    Rafa may keep the majority of the squad and may force players like Wijnaldum and Sissoko to stay and help us get out, which I think may happen. But i don’t want players like them two who won’t turn up half the season because they’re dreaming of champions league, unless Rafa can change them

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  • nufc786

    May 26, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #14

    Does anyone think we should go for Glenn Murray from Bournemouth? He has experience in the championship and because he is 32, he doesn’t need to start all of the games leaving Mitro, Armstrong and Perez with a fair share … He scored 30 goals in the championship in one season for crystal palace

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  • JamesToon

    May 26, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #15

    JFA

    more championship experienced players are a must think we can all agree

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 26, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #16

    Last season we did not have a lot of options and always seemed to have a lengthy injury list we cant afford to be playing midfielders as full backs and no 10s as wingers so the players who cant or wont contribute need to leave that is roughly about 8 players who need to leave and thats fine lets replace them with a good mixture of players !

    Cook would be a good shout would only be couple of million as out of contract the following season

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  • toonfan76

    May 26, 2016 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Hi guys, been thinking about the Townsend situation and come to the conclusion that if he has worries about not getting selected for the England squad because of playing in the championship, maybe he could speak to Hodgeson about it and get the reassurance he needs before committing to the Toon. Surely Being coached by a top class manager like Benitez will be a factor.

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  • Novocastrian66

    May 26, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #18

    nufc786: Not for me mate.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #19

    There’s the dilema with that tw@t Collocini, we needed another CB and we still do. I would like to see a Mbemba Lascelles partnership and it would probably be hard to convince a top international to come. So should we take a chance on that yellow bellied but experienced Championship defender to come in and do a job?

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  • Sir Eric

    May 26, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #20

    JamesToon

    Yes that game was great, first time we looked good for both halves.

    I agree with your problem positions, we definitely need some retooling. I’d like to finally see us playing the proper players in their proper positions.

    If Gini ends up staying, it’d be nice to have a natural left winger/midfielder there instead of him, and he can play in a more advanced central position.

    First few games of the season I imagine we will be without Mitro (suspension) and maybe some of our international players might not be up to speed just yet. We really need to make sure we start strongly to set a good pace.

    Whenever Mitro does end up playing, we cannot leave him so isolated. Ayoze or Gini, or whoever is playing with him, needs to be closer to him, so his knockdowns and flick ons aren’t wasted.

    I’m really looking forward to not just winning matches more regularly, but the improvement in our younger players. We can see how an organized defence and protective CDM pairing has allowed Lascelles to shine, (I will admit I didn’t think he was EPL ready, as he had some absolute shockers, such as letting Josh King walk right be him to score at SJP).

    I hope we keep Aarons and that he stays fit, and that Ayoze improves his decision making, as sometimes he takes too many touches on the ball.

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  • anthc

    May 26, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #21

    Jamestoon,

    With the exception of townsend, all the rest leaving wouldn’t bother me one bit if I’m being honest. Most are not good enough, some don’t want to be here and others lack the heart and spirit we desperately need.

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  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    May 26, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #22

    Jail

    Id actually rather keep taylor than collo as the back up. I think we’d be able to find a line-leading experienced defender to come in, and like you say mbemba and lascelles can develop a strong partnership

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #23

    I think thw must keeps are; Townsend, Mbemba, Lascelles, Ayoze, Elliot, Mitro, Armstrong, Aarons, Darlow and I eould like Wijanldum also. The rest could be sold and replaced or not that important.

    Colback and Dummett not far from the ‘must keep’ list but really I’m not too bothered if either left as they arn’t that great.

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  • lesh

    May 26, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #24

    You couldn’t make it up?

    Keep Saylor as back up what? He hasn’t even had half a season for years – just like Colo.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #25

    Taylor and Colo, neither are dependable and both have glaring weaknesses. Ideally both would go, Dummet would move to CB and 2 LBs and 1 experienced CB would be brought in.

    Really couldn’t choose between them if one had to remain, like asking which flavour shite do you prefer?

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #26

    Screw this keeping Colo or Taylor!! They both need to go !!! We need men at the back who will be fit and will put their bodies on the line !!

    Taylor will not manage 10 games a season and Colo will struggle with the demands and just needs to go!!

    Dunk and Caulker would do nicely instead

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #27

    Ooohh forgot about Caulker, eould be a great signing for us.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #28

    More than anything I think the squad needs to symbolise moving on just as much as Rafa’s appointment does. Could’ve done it last summer if Colo had been booted out, but he stayed and the rot spread to a few others that now should also go. Mentality has to change and that means some leaving.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #29

    Forgot to mention Mbabu in my ‘must haves’ list. Although I aint seen much of him he showed great class and potential when he’s played, and Benitez was also impressed, now go on and sign that contract son!

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  • Sir Eric

    May 26, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #30

    Yes, get rid of Colo & Taylor. Both are past it and can’t stay fit anyways. Would free up a lot of wages between the two, probably close to £130k a week, assuming Colo makes at least £80k+ as he’s got that clause about being highest earner, and I think Taylor is on around £50k.

    We could definitely put that money to better use. Like anything. Literally anything.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #31

    YC,
    Sentiment has gone out the window for me with Taylor, he has managed 15.34 games a season for the last six years, he managed 33 that season we nearly got relegated after fifth to bring that average above 12, unfortunately for us he is cooked, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for him as he is a multi millionaire and has done very well from being on the sick.

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  • Moonraker15

    May 26, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #32

    Toonfan
    Townsend and the other international players needn’t worry about getting in their squads next year as there’s no tournament next summer after the euros this summer!

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  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    May 26, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #33

    Lesh/jail

    I have no sentimental attachment to taylor, but the only thing splitting him and colo now is commitment. If one of them is staying (and i think one will), Id rather have someone who will at least try, rather than someone who wants to go home.

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  • jimmysmith

    May 26, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #34

    Collocini might not be so great to have round the team if he isn’t in it. It’s the fringe players that can do the best job of stinking the place up. But purely on ability, Collocini is a Rolls Royce at that level. But again, you have to remember, we’ll have our tails up, you’ll see a different side of players, a better side.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #35

    YC,
    There is no point in keeping Taylor if he is only going to manage fifteen games, we are about to embark on a seriously long campaign, he may well last 33 but he hasn’t for awhile now and it’s time to cut loose.

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  • jimmysmith

    May 26, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #36

    Benitez is famous for handling potentially disgruntled players. He just picks his best 11, on form and tactics. He’s left out loads of big names.

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  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    May 26, 2016 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #37

    Jail

    Ideally yes, cut them both loose. I just have a feeling one will be kept. They would be the 4th choice anyway.

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  • JamesToon

    May 26, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #38

    I honestly dont see the point in keeping the likes of gouffran riverie cisse taylor colooccini thauvin even if they are good enough (which i really dont think they are for the championship) they clearly dont care, so best to get rid and replace them with youth players or championship quality and experience

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  • JDdubai

    May 26, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #39

    We should be looking at the u21’s in Toulon, couple of players there we should be looiing at.

    Iorfa at RB worth a shout
    Redmond from Norwich i would pay the price for
    Then Hughes and Cook for midfield.
    Dunk CB

    Lots of young english talent there worth taking a risk or 2 on, same type as we missed out on in Demarai Gray and Sam Byram who both went for less than 4m each.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #40

    YC,
    If Rafa can get the best out of players I’d rather see Taylor go, can’t stand Collo and like Taylor but his games ayed stats are atrocious!

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