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.
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.