Two Positions Benitez Must Strengthen This Summer

One of Newcastle’s big weaknesses last season is that we didn’t have a recognized reliable goalscorer in the ranks – and we failed to sign Charlie Austin when we had ample opportunity to do so last summer and in January.

In the end it was Southampton who snapped him up for just £4M.

If we had signed Charlie – even in January – there was a good chance we could have avoided relegation, but that was just one mistake Lee Charnley and Graham Carr made last season  – there were many more.

The big one was keeping Steve McClaren in the job when it was obvious to everybody the job was just too big for him.

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Ross McCormack – expensive

So it’s not surprising that one of the positions Rafa Benitez wants to strengthen as quickly as possible is striker and we have already been linked with Fulham’s Ross McCormack, Chelsea’s Patrick Bamford,  and Bournemouth’s Lee Tomlin and even Tenerife striker Nano.

We have also been offered Crystal Palace’s Dwight Gayle for the second summer running.

But of those five the only one that we really like is Ross McCormack, because he would guarantee us 15 goals nest season, and there are various reasons the other four may not be good deals for Newcastle.

Bamford had a bad time of it last season at both Palace and Norwich, Lee Tomlin just doesn’t seem good enough with his background, Nano if signed would be one for the future and we’ve never rated Dwight Gayle, who Alan Pardew also tried to sell last summer.

What Rafa wants in over the summer is experience and Ross would provide that – since he ‘s been a consistent goalscorer for a few seasons now in the Championship and he has scored 42 goals for Fulham in the last two seasons in 100 total appearances.

In the four seasons he was at Leeds United before moving to Fulham, he scored 58 goals in 154 appearances

The problem is that Fulham have put a £15M release clause in his contract and he’s not worth that much, but getting in one or even two experienced strikers this summer has to be Rafa’s first priority.

The other position that needs strengthening is center-back and we need to bring in a top center-back with Coloccini now certain to leave the club as another veteran, Steven Taylor, will do at the end of the month.

Newcastle already have two very promising young center-backs in Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles who will both get better next season, but we need an experienced central defender too.

So as it was last summer Newcastle need a top striker and a top center-back brought in and with Rafa Benitez now at the helm – we think we’ll finally get those players in.

And the sooner the better.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.