Rafa Benitez has said last week it is his intention to improve our current squad for next season – and when you think in those final six games of the season in the Premier League we picked up a very good 12 points, then we should have a very strong squad and side for next season.
One reason Rafa needs new players in is to strengthen and balance the squad – but to also increase the size of it.
We had far too many wingers and midfield players over the last few seasons and not enough defenders – so that is one area we expect Rafa to improve.
Lascelles, Mbemba and Darlow after great win against Palace
Certainly the defense in those last six games played very well and only conceded 4 goals:
Anita Mbemba Lascelles Dummett
In the final game Daryl Janmaat came back for the injured Vurnon Anita and he had a good game.
Karl Darlow – who could even end up as our 3rd choice goalkeeper next season played very well and looks a very good goalkeeper in the making.
The young central defensive partnership of Mbemba and Lascelles also looked very good and that’s the best we have seen local lad Paul Dummett play for Newcastle.
We expect Rafa to bring in some experienced defenders over the summer but also one or two experienced strikers.
More defenders and more strikers will balance the squad, which in truth has been completely unbalanced over the last two or three years and too small too.
And because of all the injuries we pick up that only led to very weakened sides having to be fielded at various stages of the previous seasons.
As a reminder, this is what Rafa said last week about how he intends to improve the squad this summer:
“It is always dangerous to give a number and I won’t do that.”
“What me and Lee are focused on is making sure we keep and build a very strong squad for the Championship so that we can compete well and get back into the Premier League the season after.”
“We don’t have to sell, that is clear, unless we think it is the right thing to do for the club and for the squad.”
“But also the level of performance that the team showed at the end of the season makes me feel sure that we have already the basis of a good team for next season.”
“I can assure fans that the business we are doing at the moment and that we will be doing over the next few weeks is all aimed at making the squad stronger than it is at the moment.”
“We are very busy and things are very positive, the Euros makes things a bit difficult for every club, but as soon we can announce things about the squad we will tell our supporters.”
That all sounds very good to us.
Who do you think Rafa will bring in over the summer months?
One of them will not be his former center-back at Liverpool – Daniel Agger – who retired from football at the fairly young age of 31.
We’ve got to believe that Rafa talked to him about joining Newcastle, but he was adamant it was the right time to retire.