This Week’s Target At Newcastle – Three New Defenders In

Newcastle did very well last week bringing in three players in – Matz Sels, Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie – all good signings and they will definitely strengthen the Newcastle squad.

And they only cost around £24M.


alvaro arbeloa

Former Liverpool full-back – Alvaro Arbeloa – a Newcastle target

Rafa’s attention will now turn to strengthening what has been a big weakness at Newcastle for the last four seasons – the defense.

The Chronicle reported on Saturday the manager wants three defenders brought in as soon as possible – a center-back and two full backs.

Yesterday the latest on that was Newcastle have reduced their list of targets to four or five players and hopefully we will hear some news of players coming in – very soon.

We have again been linked with 24 year-old center-back Steven Caulker and he seems a likely arrival with QPR keen to get his £30K/week wages off their wage bill,  as the London club prepare to spend a second successive season in the Championship.

We have been reported to be after 33 year-old former Liverpool and Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa, who is currently a free agent and certainly would be a great addition to our squad.

Alvaro would offer experience and leadership and certainly the 56 times capped Spanish International has a winning attitude – something that’s been rare at Newcastle over the last two or three years.

That’s because we have made  a bad habit of losing too many games.

Newcastle are interested in 25 year-old Middlesbrough’s Spanish center-back Daniel Ayala, but that may be a difficult acquisition for the club with Smoggies manager Aitor Karanka not keen at all to sell one of his best players.

There are other possibilities and Rafa may surprise us all, but the plan is to bring up to three defenders in this week before the team leaves for their Ireland Training Camp in County Kildare on Saturday.

The squad will stay there for a week and play the first friendly game on May 26th against Bohemian in Dublin.

Fab Coloccini is back training at Newcastle now and he has been told he will be released, but only when a new center-back arrives at Newcastle, but we would be surprised if Colo is on the plane to Ireland on Saturday.

Getting three good defenders in this week would be another massive step forward for Newcastle and with six new players in = the squad will be better and bigger.

That’s what we need if we are to be promoted immediately back to the Premier League.

That’s the goal – the only goal this season and then we can look forward to challenging for the top six in the Premier League.

That’s what Rafa Benitez wants to do.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #1

    Where did I slagg him off, just saying nobody would even know he’d been here if he left. We bought him cheap knowing full well he was a gamble that may have turned a profit. There was no thought process put in to where he would play or what system suited him. A failed player in a failed set up.

  • Lager_arm

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #2

    I know Rafa’s a good manager but didn’t realise he was a time traveller as well, 3 defenders in for our first friendly on may 26th ?

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #3

    Would love to get 3 defenders in this week, didn’t think we would do it last week but we did so hats off to Benitez, if he does it again then not only i would respect him more than ever but I will go to Newcastle myself and give him a kiss, only joking.

    Ha ha ha

    Serious though, I would respect him more than ever, when was the last time a manger got deals done this early, our first signing was before the window opened so you can tell Benitez is not pissing about.

  • G

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #4

    Caulker and Ayala would be great signings for us, although I would have faith in both MBemba and Lascelles competition for places, and a longer season, having 4 good CB’s can only be a good thing? Alvaro at 33 would add experience, however, even though he has an excellent pedigree, I am always a little bit apprehensive when it comes to signing any player 33 or over.

  • Jib

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #5

    “Benitez is interested in Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao for N”

    I saw this headline in the Daily Mail and nearly crapped meself

    It was dated Summer 2013 and the “N” was Napoli


  • SA Toon

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #6

    Alvaro would be a great addition to the team and would bring much needed experience. He can also play on both sides of the back line which is useful. At CB I would prefer Grant Hanley (as he also has strong leadership abilities), but I’m pretty sure Rafa could get the best out of Caulker if that is who he decides to go with. I can’t see Daniel Ayala coming in as he has just signed a new contract. Whoever comes in, I have faith in Rafa that he will bring the required balance to the side. He then needs to make sure that we keep most of the existing squad, and we should be able to make a strong challenge for the Championship. Of course, if Sissoko and/or Gini leave for big money then we probably need to spend a bit more in the midfield, but other than that, I think we should be good to go.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #7

    It’s great to see a number of signings already in ready for pre-season, unlike previous years. Hopefully we see a left back and a centre back in soon as well.

    On Siem, I’ve said all along on here that I’d love to see him play regularly. I saw some questions with a player (think it was Krul or Elliott) on other players in the team. Best trainer question was answered with Siem. He said he’s very professional and his finishing is very good. He gives the keeper the eyes and more often than not scores. Technique, finishing etc.

    I think it’s a shame he had his serious lung problem and that very freak eye accident.

    When he had those games under McClaren towards the end that he was playing in, we looked a lot better shape-wise and the football was flowing so much better through him. He gets in very good areas – areas where we had nobody there before he came on.

    He’s an intelligent player, and can finish. He was captain at Ajax for a while which gives another good indication.

    I hope he’s another one that might show his talents this year under Rafa, as long as he’s not sold. It did Enrique and Colo the world of good to find their feet in the Championship for a season to boost their confidence.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #8

    I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if Rafa brought in defenders the press hasn’t linked us with yet. He’s personally said nothing about who he fancies for a good reason, just like what happened with Ritchie – he doesn’t want to get wrapped up in a bidding war. There’s no question new defenders will come in, but it would be a brave man to second guess Rafa as to who they’ll be. Caulker might be one, based purely on QPR needing him off their payroll, but then if he really fancies the Boro lad, don’t be surprised if he makes an offer they can’t refuse. We’re still a big club and clearly players don’t see us as a step down because of Rafa and his vision. Like to see the situation with Sissoko and Gini resolved asap though.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Be brilliant if he can bring in 3 defenders this week.

    Interesting on who will be captain next season

  • G

    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #10

    Bobby, glad to hear your comments on Arma with regard to the last thread. Watched a fair bit of the kids football this year, to be honest, to me the stand out youngster has been ‘McKenzie Heaney’, mainly because when he is playing the rest of the team seem to alter around him and he changes the shape of the team with his play. Been a few games though where Beardsley has played him out left and left only right footers on field, when he has looked isolated. That left back we got from City, Gideon something or other looks good when he’s on the ball, however, when he’s off the ball, he doesn’t seem to know where he needs to be. Hopefully the new coaching setup will change things and we will see an improvement and be able to assess the players better.

  • BeeGuy

    Jul 4, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #11

    Rafa seems to want a roster that goes three deep able to play as starters. Good plan for the Championship, and lets him play to win in the cups.

    Sad to see NUFC did not bring back Nile Ranger. Good player who keeps the press from looking at the small sins of the rest of the squad.

  • premier

    Jul 4, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #12

    Gerrin targetting top 6 in prem already!

  • WhatWouldJoeyBartonDo

    Jul 4, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Hearing rumours we have bid for Jonny Castor of Celta Vigo. Sounds a good acquisition but it was a twitter rumour so could be far from true.


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