Benitez Has His First Big Challenge For Next Season


News today in the Chronicle that Rafa Benitez is looking at ways of how he can keep Moussa Sissoko at Newcastle next season, as we go down to compete in the Championship.

It was noticeable that Rafa liked the way Moussa set an example in training during h nine weeks Rafa was managing Newcastle last season.

When Benitez dropped Jonjo Shelvey he made Moussa captain and certainly his performances improved for Newcastle after the 26 year-old had a fairly poor season for the team.

But news that Sissoko is one of the players Benitez wants to keep at the club, even though there have already been some big clubs interested in the player.

moussa sissoko rafa benitez spurs

Rafa Benitez and Moussa Sissoko

Arsenal seem willing to pay £10M for him although the figure Newcastle would want is £20M and it’s unlikely many clubs would come in with that type of offer.

With relegation and the likelihood that Newcastle can bounce straight back up to the Premier League, Benitez doesn’t want to lose any players he sees as vital to the core of the Newcastle team he is starting to build on Tyneside.

It was not good news when L’Equipe had a piece on each one of the players selected for  the 23 French squad for Euro 2016 and it said about Sissoko that he had no intention of playing in the Championship next season, but that input was likely provided by his agent.

It would appear that Rafa will have his work cut out to persuade Moussa to stay, although the manager did say he had talked to a number of players about the possibility of staying next season and he had received some positive feedback from them.

We assume Moussa was one of them, but to a large extent it will depend on what Moussa himself  thinks and whether he believes in the Rafa revolution beginning at Newcastle.

Moussa has always talked about wanting to play for a club in the Champions League, so maybe he’s already at that club, with Rafa Benitez wanting to take Newcastle into the top four of the Premier League as soon as he can.

Since Moussa joined Newcastle from Toulouse in January three years ago he’s played 133 games with 12 goals and  19 assists for the club.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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