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Rafa Benitez Keen On This Young England Midfielder

5:32 pm, Thursday, May 26th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 100 Comments

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.

Tags: Newcastle News · Recruitment · Scouting Network · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

100 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Griff-toon // May 26, 2016 at 5:39 PM



    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.

  • 2 Griff-toon // May 26, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    Townsend has talked about his admiration. Auto correct

  • 3 Sir Eric // May 26, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    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.

  • 4 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 5:48 PM

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

  • 5 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    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).

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 5:53 PM

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

  • 7 Hail Wor Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 5:56 PM

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

  • 8 JamesToon // May 26, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    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)

  • 9 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM


    I posted this a little earlier:

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

  • 10 JamesToon // May 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM


    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

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    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.

  • 12 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 6:03 PM

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

  • 13 JamesToon // May 26, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    I also expect and hope the following defo leave:

    Then there’s these players who possibly could force a move:

    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


    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

  • 14 nufc786 // May 26, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    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

  • 15 JamesToon // May 26, 2016 at 6:09 PM


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

  • 16 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 26, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    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

  • 17 toonfan76 // May 26, 2016 at 6:12 PM

    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.

  • 18 Novocastrian66 // May 26, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    nufc786: Not for me mate.

  • 19 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    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?

  • 20 Sir Eric // May 26, 2016 at 6:18 PM


    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.

  • 21 anthc // May 26, 2016 at 6:20 PM


    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.

  • 22 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 6:23 PM


    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

  • 23 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    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.

  • 24 lesh // May 26, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    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.

  • 25 Hail Wor Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    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?

  • 26 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    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

  • 27 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 6:33 PM

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

  • 28 Hail Wor Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 6:34 PM

    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.

  • 29 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    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!

  • 30 Sir Eric // May 26, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    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.

  • 31 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    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.

  • 32 Moonraker15 // May 26, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    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!

  • 33 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 6:45 PM


    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.

  • 34 jimmysmith // May 26, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    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.

  • 35 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    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.

  • 36 jimmysmith // May 26, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    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.

  • 37 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 6:55 PM


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

  • 38 JamesToon // May 26, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    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

  • 39 JDdubai // May 26, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    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.

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    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!

  • 41 Hail Wor Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Was Taylor trying against Southampton? If so I’d hate to see him when he isn’t trying. Horrific defender that peaked 10 years ago at the outset of his career – been downhill ever since.

    To think they hype surrounding him when he was captain of U-21s and tipped to be an England stalwart and potential captain. Never made an appearance at senior level

    Hope Lacelles is keenly aware of that trajectory Taylor’s career took. Could become an England player, has the right manager to aid him in that, the rest is up to him!

  • 42 geordie157 // May 26, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    I think one positive with Rafa is our transfer business will be done quickly to allow as much time as possible to get the players working together pre season.

    Colo, Taylor, Gouffran, Cisse, Riviere can def go.

    Janmaat and Krul I’d possibly sell. We’ve got decent keepers and mbabu, sterry, anita can compete for right back.

    He’s on big wages but Tiote I wouldn’t mind keeping but makes sense to offload.

    Not sure what to do with the likes of Good, always injured so prob best to move him on.

    Satka, would he improve under Rafa but doubt he’s good enough.

    Is cabella a done deal? Actually think a season in the championship under rafa could be the making of him.

    Thauvin keep, controversial but I see harm giving him the season to impress.

    Ameobi, vuckic can go.

  • 43 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    This is pretty straight forward, who would you rather we have between these three Colo, Saylor or Caulker? I know simple isn’t it.

  • 44 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 26, 2016 at 7:07 PM

    The good thing about Rafa is that he is extremely ruthless its all about the good of the team so players that are not contributing will be culled like they should have been years ago!!

    No more players that have stolen a living by not playing Rafa likes to rotate a big squad so we need players who are ready and give 100% for all positions

  • 45 jimmysmith // May 26, 2016 at 7:07 PM

    I thought Collocini did well in 90% of the games he played last season, admittedly he was caught out badly in the other 10%. But to be honest, I can’t think of too many who were consistently better in such a poor campaign. No one, bar Elliot really did consistently well, and he probably played less often. That extended injury toward the end didn’t help Collocini or us, raising a number of question marks, and makes his place in the squad vulnerable. And of course there’s the question of the captaincy. Agger for Collocini would seem a good move all things considered, and yeah Taylor is so rarely fit, he must also be on shaky ground, and certainly, barring a miracle won’t play if we come back.

  • 46 WWSBRD // May 26, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    This kid has a huge future if natured correctly seriously would be a coup getting him considering the success of Alli teams will be hunting in the lower leagues again and he fits the bill

    Him, Hughes or Thorne in the centre once Tiote/Saviet/de Jong/Gini leave would be exciting if a little under experienced (of those 4 I’d only like to keep Tiote tbh)

  • 47 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 26, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Also on the centre half subject everyone is forgetting that Willamson needs replaced numbers wise as well !!

  • 48 geordie157 // May 26, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    Also sell de jong, haidara as always injured and bigi. So that leaves us with a squad of.

    Elliot, Darlow, Woodman
    Mbabu, Sterry
    Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett
    Anita, Colback, Saivet
    Aarons, Thauvin
    Mitrovic, Perez, Armstrong

    Cb – Agger, Dunk
    Lb – Robertson if hull don’t go up
    Cm – cook, hughes
    Rw – Redmond
    St – mccormack

  • 49 Essex Geordie Bill // May 26, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    And then of course we do have a lot of youngsters who Rafa’s new set up could bring on to be as good (if not better) as some of the young players being speculated on.

    Bigiramana, Heardman, Gillead, Good (is he, perhaps we’ll find out) to name but a few.

  • 50 geordie157 // May 26, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    Oops forgot sissoko and wijnaldum…..keep both or if one of the two wijnaldum

  • 51 toonfan76 // May 26, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    Wondering what Rafas starting budget is, before any player sales are made! Let hope he has a decent amount and doesn’t have to sell to make it more respectable.

  • 52 GeordieTwo // May 26, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    Interesting comments today. I’m enjoying reading them all.

  • 53 geordie157 // May 26, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    It’s a shame George Thorne broke his leg, he’s had some horrific injuries but looked classy in front of the back for last season.

    Johnny Russell puts in a shift, scores goals.

  • 54 JDdubai // May 26, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    All this squad stuff relies heavily on the players staying fit. In theory Haidara, Dummett and Mbabu would be good enough for the LB spot in the championship but not if they are all crocked again.

    Benitez main job is fixing the injuries, then we can add from there.

  • 55 GeordieTwo // May 26, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    I’m less willing than many to give Ashley and Charnley any credit. They were in a desperate situation, had fouled the nest for several seasons and really had no other decent option but to go for Rafa as hard as they could.

  • 56 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 7:25 PM


    I agree with that (sorry for latw response i was otherwise occupied with a pint at the bus station). Colo is technically the better player, and has played more games. Rafa is the closest thing we have had to a miracle worker for a long time, but he will have to turn water into bl0w j0bs to get collo back to his 5 years + ago for and attitude.

  • 57 Mister Tuff // May 26, 2016 at 7:27 PM


  • 58 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 7:31 PM


    That’s quality. The badger part had me struggling to keep it together and not laugh my ar$e off on the bus.

  • 59 Mister Tuff // May 26, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    YCMIU- must say I had a laugh. Must be Mackems behind it.
    Although a load of badgers living in the trophy cabinet was pretty good.

  • 60 Mister Tuff // May 26, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    Sounds like G2’s honey badgers.

  • 61 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Article in The Chronic on “Rafa Benitez’s pre-season plan: More training, less travel and domestic friendlies lined up”

    Slightly different from last year!

  • 62 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Nahhh. Can’t be mackems. All of thier latest craic has been sub-par, even by thier standards. Like trying to say Rafa is not world class, and he took us down. And then there was the banner… which translated to “see you again, prem” . This one was far to well thought through!

  • 63 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    Anyone got a link for Rafad presser?

  • 64 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 8:01 PM


  • 65 lochinvar // May 26, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Typical that the failing midland club the Mancs announce some new manager geezer called Jose the day after Newcastle United announce the appointment of Rafa Benitez.

    I mean how petty and jealous can you get.

  • 66 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Cheers Ron Knee, goosebumps!

  • 67 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Got a link for Penfold speaking anyone

  • 68 Jib // May 26, 2016 at 8:27 PM

    Look at all the new posters flooding the blog !
    Welcome all !
    Hopefully the usual sarky tools will get blown away!!!
    I cannot believe you think Shelvey is another Obertan man !

  • 69 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Hopefully your nasty streak will go unnoticed with an influx of new posters!

  • 70 Jib // May 26, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    Newcastle United are plotting moves for Brighton’s Lewis Dunk, Derby County’s Will Hughes and Leeds United’s Lewis Cook, according to The Sun.

  • 71 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 26, 2016 at 8:37 PM


    Replacing Williamson, Obertan and Marveux with much better quality then will take that !!

    Also Townsend is going nowhere !Woy has said he would still get picked in the championship

  • 72 Jib // May 26, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    They are ecstatic with Rafa’s decision in one of the first places he worked !!!

  • 73 SPRINGY // May 26, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    evening all
    although we need one or two cb’s,i would like to see mbemba and lascelles at cb,we need to get the cb’s playing together and gelling,although colo might be decent at champ level we need to think a ahead,colo should only be a squad member at best in my view,and if lascelles and mbemba dont work bring someone else in before colo.

  • 74 Bobbybee // May 26, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    There’s more good news for the toon, with Roy Hodgson confirming to Andros that staying at Newcastle will no way affect his selection for the England squad. This may – or may not – have had an influence on Andros’ decision to stay or go. Now he knows where he stands on that front, his heart can now take full control of his head and commit himself to staying with us and Rafa. The massive effect Rafa has had on Townsends form – acknowledged by Andros himself – may be more than enough to sway his decision. It’s a massive project and one Andros might find too good to turn down. Over to you Andros! 😉

  • 75 Jib // May 26, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Basically Rafa says – Roma can fancy Wijnaldum as much as they want – but I’m under no pressure to sell !

  • 76 Bobbybee // May 26, 2016 at 8:59 PM

    Jib, cheers for that. As someone who only speaks English, i appreciate your translation. Clearly Rafa has no intention of being forced to sell by anybody. With that stance, clubs will really have to make us an offer we can’t refuse if they want a player. And then only if we decide to sell. 😉

  • 77 Bradley // May 26, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    With Rafa now confirmed I think the club should be looking to clear the deadwood out the squad!
    Riviere – £3/4m (French team)
    Gouffran 2m (French club)
    Colo 1m (return to Argentina)
    Janmaat £10m (Serie A)
    Sissoko £15m (Arsenal/Liverpool/Tottenham)
    Cisse 5m (China/Asia)
    Tiote 4m (palace/west brom)
    Thauvin £8m (inter/Marseille)
    De Jong £4m (Ajax return)
    Cabella 6m (gone to Marseille)
    Krul 6m (ac Milan)
    Wijnaldum £20m (Roma)
    Haidara £1m (French club)
    Saivet 3m (French club)
    Roughly £80+ player sales, also the reported £40m cash from Ashley to invest.
    Release from club:
    Good (too injury prone)
    £150k a week off the wage bill for out of contract players,

    Give Aaron’s and mbabu new 2 year deals

    Then attempt to sign already made championship players
    Cook (Leeds) 7m
    McCormack (Fulham) £8
    Hughes (Derby) £10m
    Thorne (Derby) 5m
    Robertson (hull) £7m providing they don’t get promotion
    Dunk (Brighton) £8m
    Judge (Brentford) £6m
    Redmond (Norwich) £8m

    Free transfers to look at:
    Alonso (former Liverpool player under Rafa)
    Agger (the same)
    Flanagan (need a young decent RB) out of contract at Liverpool, compensation fee for being under 23. £3-6m
    Arbeloa (might fancy working under Rafa one last time)

    So roughly £100m what we will get from Ashley and player sales will be able to fund a £60m+ spending spree on incoming championship players of Rafa’s choosing. Future looks very very bright under Benitez!!!

    All that but mainly keeping hold of most the squad,


  • 78 lochinvar // May 26, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Anyone know when the first game of the season is ?
    I think the fixtures are out mid June
    Looking forward to next season much more than the last one !
    Funny that

  • 79 Jib // May 26, 2016 at 9:07 PM

    I wouldn’t even dream of telling someone like Rafa what to do with players when I haven’t even met them let alone watch them train day after day !!!!

  • 80 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 9:13 PM


  • 81 hibbitt // May 26, 2016 at 9:14 PM


    anyone know if the home grown rule applies in the championship as kets seems to want to sell all our homegrown players ???

  • 82 Bobbybee // May 26, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    Loch, off the top of my head, the first game is august 6th or 8th. The fixtures come out on the 22 june. So much waiting eh?!! 😉

  • 83 Bobbybee // May 26, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    Hibbett, as ffp rules apply, i should imagine the rules are pretty much the same mate. Anybody else got a better answer? Please? 😉

  • 84 Bobbybee // May 26, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Weird things are occuring. Like tomorrow, i’ll be watching a match at the SOS and wanting the home side to win. Does it get any weirder? 😉

  • 85 stephen1971 // May 26, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    in rafa we trust, if he can,t succeed in this shambles then no one can, sh1t or bust guys

  • 86 Bradley // May 26, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    I wasn’t meaning telling him what to do I just mean if I was Rafa id be looking to clear all the players out who aren’t good enough to play for us even in the championship? Surely it’s got to be obvious that most of our squad are awful?
    Whatever he decides I don’t mind because I think before the season starts we will have a top class championship team

  • 87 Tsunki // May 26, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Jib FYI most of them are not actually new posters. And the new ones would be best advised to beware of your google-fired nitpickery and factoidal bitchslapping.

    Welcome btw to any new posters it always good to get a fresh perspective and hopefully you’ll pass BandB Standards. 🙂

  • 88 welshgeordie9 // May 26, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Hopefully we will get another forward with experience signed up, now who should we go for, Charlie Austin perhaps.

  • 89 Tsunki // May 26, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    I think primary criteria for player to stay will be residing in their heads. If they aren’t mentally on board with Rafa they should and most probably will be jettisoned regardless of perceived skill and value . More than anything, it was the disruptive influence of some self-promoting want-aways that undermined our season. They should be escorted onto any mode of transport that ensures a brief and speedy view of their backs disappearing into the distance.

  • 90 Tsunki // May 26, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Welsh just said the C word.

  • 91 welshgeordie9 // May 26, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Now now be nice.

  • 92 Tsunki // May 26, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Not a chance you BasDost!


  • 93 welshgeordie9 // May 26, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    How about bringing back Shola Ameobi.

  • 94 welshgeordie9 // May 26, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Or Andy Carroll.

  • 95 WWSBRD // May 26, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    20 mill for Gini? Bite their hands off or hell push them higher if they are that nuts

    Rafa said he’d sell if daft offers came in and 20 mill for a player who u wouldn’t know was on the pitch for 90-95% of games is a steal

  • 96 Mister Tuff // May 26, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    Football League Rules Homegrown Players.

    33.7 Home Grown Players. Each Club shall be required to nominate a minimum of six Home Grown Players on their Team Sheet of Players for all League Competition Matches (including Play Off Matches).

    33.8 ‘Home Grown Player’ shall mean a Player who irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with:-

    33.8.1 his current Club; and/or

    33.8.2 a Club and/or any other football club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales,

    for a period, continuous or not of three Seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21). For the purposes of this definition of Home Grown Player only, a Season will be deemed to commence on the date on which the first Transfer Window in that Season closes and expire on the date of the final League Match of the Season.

    33.9 For the purposes of Regulation 33.8.2, but not otherwise, a Player who was at all times registered with a Club (or club) affiliated to the Football Association of Wales shall be treated as having been registered with a Club (or club) affiliated to The Football Association, and vice versa.


  • 97 welshgeordie9 // May 26, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Mister Tuff

    Can you ask expat if Welsh people needs a passport.

    Ha ha ha

  • 98 welshgeordie9 // May 26, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Sorry Expat couldn’t resist.

  • 99 jimmysmith // May 26, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Sissoko, Janmaat, Mbemba, Wijnaldum, Krul and Townsend, are the only players on the roster with the proven quality to be part of a Benitez first 11 back in the EPL, in my view.

    Although one of Sissoko, and Widjnaldum may be voluntarily sold because they both seem to play best in the same position.

    Other good players in an EPL squad Mitrovic, Perez, Aarons, Shelvey, Lascelles, Tiote (age an issue)

    Useful EPL squad players Elliot, Darlow, Anita, Colback, Dummett, De Jong.

    Vulnerable players now and certainly at the end of the season, Collo, Taylor, Rivierre, Cisse, Gouffran, Saivet.

    Players with everything to prove and play for, Arma, Mbabu, Thauvin, Haidarra.

  • 100 Jib // May 27, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    So Mr Tuff is familiar with Mackem run spoof websites.
    No surprises there then !

    The sites are probably administered by his old mates that he used travel round the country with , supporting the red and white shite.

    Regardless of Keegan’s tremendous era (you wee glory hunter you) once a Mackem always a Mackem.

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