The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

A Confident Rafa Benitez Talks About His Three New Players

11:12 pm, Friday, July 1st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 27 Comments

Rafa Benitez brought in two new players today and that makes three new players brought in over the last three days.

The three players are  goalkeeper Matz Sels from Gent, striker Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace and right winger Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth.

Today was the first day back for our players and they included Gini Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin and local lad Adam Armstrong.

dwight gayle 456

Dwight Gayle – new striker on Tyneside

Everything seemed upbeat especially from a smiling and relaxed Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who has talked on the Newcastle web-site about why he signed each of the new three players:

“We decided to bring in Sels because we have problems with the keepers. Krul and Elliot have some injuries.”

“We also had a situation last season that with the injuries of Elliot and Krul injured it was difficult to manage, although Darlow was doing well.”

“You always need an extra goalkeeper.” Sels is a player with experience and quality. He will increase the competition which is fine.”

“We have two months at the start of the season with many games and we couldn’t just have one keeper.”

“Everyone is always talking about strikers and we needed someone who knew English football. “

“Dwight Gayle has good movement and is a good finisher.”

“The idea was to increase and to have more competition in attack. He’s a player who will impress.

“If Dwight is happy, he’s training well and he settles down quickly then he can score goals for us.

To find wingers who have ability, pace and work hard is not easy. We were looking for one of those players and Matt Ritchie is one.”

“With the situation of Andros Townsend leaving, we worked very quickly to try and finalize the deal.”

“Matt gives us different options and has experience at this level of football.”

The three new players brought in so early in the summer seem to be three very good players who obviously will strengthen the squad.

Newcastle have made a good start leading up to this first day of pre-season training today.

It’s very impressive and we are hoping to see two new defenders brought in over the next week.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Dwight Gayle · Matt Ritchie · Matz Sels · Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 1, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    Liverpool are looking to get rid of Joe Allen would love Rafa to get him to replace Tiote !

    Although Swansea are trying to get him back so might not be likely but we need a player with his energy and quality on the ball

    Colback has the energy but nothing else

  • 2 jimmysmith // Jul 1, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    Football, like life, tends to be mundane and often a grind, interspersed with little disappointments and minor victories, the occasional tragedy and triumph, and that game was as uplifting as anything I’ve experienced in some time.

  • 3 nufc 11 // Jul 1, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    Abeid, Jeff Hendrick, Victor Moses, Richard keogh.

  • 4 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 1, 2016 at 11:58 PM


    Would take all of them yes please!

  • 5 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 2, 2016 at 12:01 AM

    Looks like we still have our buying players young philosophy. 3 signing, 24 years, 25 & 26 years old. I don’t seen anything wrong with it. Just means such players with agger or berbatov won’t be join us.

  • 6 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 2, 2016 at 12:11 AM


    I still think Rafa will sign a player or 2 over the age of 29 this summer wouldn’t be surprised if one of the free agents from Everton rocks up

  • 7 Munster Mag // Jul 2, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Given the departures and the dross in our squad, we need at least 4 more players.

  • 8 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 2, 2016 at 12:17 AM


    Yeah totally the way I look at the squad currently numbers wise:

    Doumbia – replaced by Gayle
    Krul – replaced by Sels
    Townsend – replaced by Richie
    Cabella – no replacement
    Marveux – no replacement
    Colo – no replacement
    Obertan – no replacement
    Taylor – no replacement

    So thats 5 players to be replaced currently that have left never mind players who probably will leave such as Sissoko , Wijnaldum , Cisse , Tiote and Janmaat !!!

  • 9 jimmysmith // Jul 2, 2016 at 12:44 AM

    We definitely need another defender, and I’m sure we’ll get one in. Beyond that, I’m not sure if the gaps won’t be filled from within he existing group. Armstrong, Thauvin, Sammi, Sterry, Good all in the frame. The club can play hardball with players on contract, such as Janmaat, Krul, Sissoko, Widjnaldum, so it’s by no means even likely they’ll be leaving.

    I suppose beyond the one defender we’ll only need to buy to replace any further outgoings, and hopefully that’ll be the likes of Gouffran and Rivierre.

  • 10 Munster Mag // Jul 2, 2016 at 1:53 AM

    Jimmy, Sammy, Good? No thanks. Thauvin? Not even slightly. More players needed and plenty of them. Rivi? Gouffy? Is that where we want to be?

  • 11 jimmysmith // Jul 2, 2016 at 2:06 AM

    Munster, I would like to see Rivi, and Gouffran moved on ideally, and as for Arma, Sammi, Good and Thauvin they will have pre season to stake a claim. Rafa will see things differently to you and I, but in reality apart from perhaps Thauvin, these players will be jockeying for positions from 25 to 30. How good do you have to be? Especially when the squad will need further restructuring should we go back up, and when you would hope we’ll be looking at better players than Gayle and Ritchie.

  • 12 manxpie // Jul 2, 2016 at 2:21 AM

    1st of all wat a win for wales unbelievable!
    i thought after that goal went in they were gonna be slaughtered but wat a performance after that, i hope they now bring wat i think everyone wants to see and thats a shit load of tears to ronaldos eyes!
    secondly i hate it when people say colback doesn’t bring anything else to the team except running around
    he’s actually a very good passer of the ball plus gets up to support when he actually gets a chance he is already our joe allen and any other massively under valued player out there
    he’s a player that might not catch the eye but ya will certainly miss him when he ain’t there! that is invaluable in the championship for me

    watching the rafa interview they’ve actually made him look like god lol speaking from the clouds over the stadium

  • 13 manxpie // Jul 2, 2016 at 2:24 AM

    oh and look at wat rafa said he wants a winger that has ability and pace and HARD WORK so is he a dinosaur now too?
    or is that wat’s needed in the english leagues?

  • 14 jimmysmith // Jul 2, 2016 at 2:25 AM

    I think he’ll certainly be looking closely at Curtis Good in pre season. He’s 23, 6 foot 3, and 85 kg, and if not injured would have gone to the last WC for a side ranked in the top 20 at the time. If he’s looking for a 4th or 5th choice Championship centre back, even if only for one season, I’m sure he’ll be considering him.

  • 15 jimmysmith // Jul 2, 2016 at 2:30 AM

    correction – top 25

  • 16 Veltmann // Jul 2, 2016 at 3:29 AM

    Really pleased to see Wijnaldum back in training. Something tells me he is staying.Was our top scorer in a team which had a poor & frustrating season.Also happy to see Thauvin back.Don’t mind him staying either so that RBZ can take a look at him.He and Wijnaldum will dominate the lower league without doubt.If he can add two center backs and a couple more,he’ll have a successful campaign.He is kind of manager who demands two players in each position,so I expect more additions before the season starts.Boom.

  • 17 Veltmann // Jul 2, 2016 at 4:19 AM

    Don’t rate Curtis Good much but Aarons is interesting one.If he stays injury free,he will burst in the championship & can make z left wing his.
    Interesting that i never see or heard about Matt Ritchie before.I am sure we never have been linked with him & that comes as a surprise to me.
    People gave their own opinion about him as a tricky quick player but there is one person who haven’t gave his opinion about him.I know who..

  • 18 Veltmann // Jul 2, 2016 at 4:51 AM

    One of Elliot,Shelvey or Wijnaldum for Captaincy for me.Don’t see any better options other than these three.Add Krul in to that if he stays.

  • 19 Toonda // Jul 2, 2016 at 6:17 AM

    Let me tell u all….haidara and aarons will be top 2 players for us this season and they will remain fit.

  • 20 Chris // Jul 2, 2016 at 6:33 AM

    I’ve got a feeling that we won’t be seeing Curtis Good playing at any time in the near future – he’s had two apparently unsuccessful operations to sort out his hip problem and he was nowhere to be seen at yesterday’s pre-season training session:

    If he is out of contention then I’d say that we probably need a minimum of two additional defenders but apart from that I agree that we’ve got sufficient numbers in other areas, and would only need to replace any further outgoings.

    As far as I can see we could even afford to let go a few fringe players like Sammy, Bigi & Vuckic and still retain a decent squad of 30 or more, eg:

    4 GK
    Darlow, Elliot, Krul, Sels

    9 Defenders
    Janmaat, Mbabu, Dummett, Haidara, New CB, Mbemba, Lascelles, Sterry + ANOther

    12 M/fielders
    Aarons, Anita, Colback, De Jong, Gouffran, Ritchie, Saivet, Shelvey, Sissoko, Thauvin, Tiote, Wijnaldum

    5 Fwds
    Cisse, Gayle, Mitrovic, Perez, Riviere

    That’s 30 players and it still leaves the likes of Woodman, Armstrong and Toney, who could either be added to the squad or sent out on loan if it’s felt that they’re not quite ready for first team action. Then it would just be a case of replacing any further leavers as you pointed out.

  • 21 JAMSHA // Jul 2, 2016 at 6:55 AM


    u havent seen ritchie coz u dnt watch football, all u do is play fifa 16 an scout players there, an then tell oh his shit, on GOOD, have u ever seen him play? or do u just see his fifa rateng an say u dnt rate him? goo watch real football stop playn fifa

  • 22 Laurent Robert 32 // Jul 2, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    Mamx, Rafa also has a clue and will play balanced football with thought and preparation, not like the other donut you’re alluding to.

    Hard work can be done closing down men in certain zonal areas and pressing forward. You’re mixing up ‘hard work’ in logical areas with tracking back and baby sitting players with a huge running distances to cover, ruining their natural game with unnecessary effort exertion to cover up incompetence of our former manager.

    Rafa has immediately brought a better balance and distance between the players. The forward hasn’t been left on his own with acres of space around him and and players are placed better within their zone. This is what happens when you have a decent manager.

    The other winger you’re alluding to just scored 18 goals and will now be playing for PSG whilst the other manager could only muster up 2 league wins in 2016 and was almost relegated without all his excuses of our club. Long live Hatem. I hope he does great. One of my favourite players of all time.

  • 23 jazzyp // Jul 2, 2016 at 7:17 AM


    Hadaira….really ??.He was a pile of crap at the beginning of the season before his injury. The season before he wasn’t much better

  • 24 expatmag // Jul 2, 2016 at 7:44 AM


    There was a short perikd the season before last where Aarons and Haidara linked up really well down the left before injury to both players occured.

  • 25 Jib // Jul 2, 2016 at 7:50 AM


    There are loads of folk on here who clearly don’t watch much real footy and base their comments on Fifa.

    One of my sons visits a Formula One blog and some of the kids on there truly believe that they are so good at F1-2016 that they could get in a car and be competitive !!!!

  • 26 jazzyp // Jul 2, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    Morning mate

    I thought Hadaira looked like cementing the left back position to himself, but whether injuries have blighted that or not, I feel Hadaira has slipped down the pecking order at the club.

  • 27 Jib // Jul 2, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Clearly Rafa had 8 weeks and 10 games to find out about the squad , and would have learned much.
    However he was involved in a relegation dogfight and had to be pragmatic and cut his cloth accordingly.
    I do feel the squad starts with a clean slate , and just because some players were ignored previously doesn’t mean they are out now and they may still come into his plans.
    He now has 5 weeks and about 7 games with much less pressure to mould what he wants.
    I really would not write off any player in the squad .
    We have seen how Benitez and his coaches can dramatically improve a previously mediocre player.

previous post: Rafa Explains Why He’s Made All These Changes

next post: Matt Ritchie Gives Out Warning To Newcastle