Rafa – We’ve Added More Creativity To Newcastle Team

Newcastle fans have seen Rafa Benitez in action over the summer transfer window and we think the fans liked what they saw.

In just one transfer window Rafa has quickly cleared out the deadwood at the club and sent a number of promising youngsters out on loan who need to get first team playing time to improve their game.

In addition, he has brought in 12 new players and all are hungry for success and all want to play for Newcastle United.

That cannot be bad.

rafa benitez training

Rafa Benitez – happy with summer transfer window

The icing was put on the cake, so to speak, when on the final day of the transfer window we sold Moussa Sissoko for £30M to Spurs.

Even before that deal we were just in the black for the summer – but that gave us a massive £31M profit over the summer.

So the finances at Newcastle are in very good shape and that money will be spent on improving the squad, as long as Rafa is the manager and he retains all the control in football matters at Newcastle.

Rafa was asked if he was happy with the transfer dealings in the summer and this is what he said:

“I am happy.”

“Everyone could see we needed more offensive players, more creativity in the team.”

“So we have Matt Ritchie, Mohamed Diame and Dwight Gayle to create chances and score goals, and, of course, we added Daryl Murphy, which gives us another option up front.”

“Now we have Christian Atsu, who is an attacking winger, as well as Achraf Lazaar and DeAndre Yedlin, who are attack-minded defenders.”

“We have also strengthened in other areas. “Jesus Gamez, Ciaran Clark, Grant Hanley and Matz Sels will increase the competition at the back, and Isaac Hayden will do the same in the middle.”

“So the competition in each position only can be good for the team.”

“We will continue to assess the squad over the next few months and see how we are doing before the end of the year.”

Here are all the transfers as we noted them during the summer and they are for the first team players only – and the transfer fees are simply best estimates.

In May we didn’t realize this table would get so big!

Matz Sels£4.5MKAA Gent
Dwight Gayle£10MCrystal Palace
Matt Ritchie£10MBournemouth
Jesus Gamez£1.5MAtletico Madrid
Isaac Hayden£2.5MArsenal
Grant Hanley£5.5MBlackburn
Ciaran Clark£5MAston Villa
Mohamed Diame£4.5MHull City
DeAndre Yedlin£5MTottenham
Daryl Murphy£3MIpswich Town
Achraf Lazaar£3MPalermo
Christian AtsuLoan - seasonChelsea
Transfer Fees In£54.5M
Gabby ObertanReleasedAnzhi Makhachkala
Sylvain MarveauxReleasedLorient
Steven TaylorReleasedPortland Timbers
Fabricio ColocciniReleasedSan Lorenzo
Andros Townsend£13MCrystal Palace
Remy Cabella£7.5MMarseille
Papiss Cisse£2.5MShandong Luneng
Gini Wijnaldum£25MLiverpool
Florian ThauvinLoan - seasonMarseille
Siem de JongLoan - seasonPSV
Kevin MbabuLoan - seasonBSC Young Boys
Henri SaivetLoan - seasonSt. Etienne
Daryl Janmaat£7.5MWatford
Tim KrulLoan - JanuaryAjax
Tim KrulLoan from JanuaryAZ Alkmaar
Gael BigirimanaFreeCoventry City
Adam ArmstrongLoan - seasonBarnsley
Emmanuel RiviereLoan - seasonCA Osasuna
Jamie SterryLoan - JanuaryCoventry City
Haris VuckicLoan - JanuaryBradford City
Sammy AmeobiLoan - JanuaryBolton Wanderers
Moussa Sissoko£30MTottenham Hotspur
Transfer Fees Out£85.5M
Net Spend-£31M

Comments welcome.

46 comments so far

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #1


    Don’t forget Perez was leading the line v brighton because gayle and mitro were out with knacked bonces. I would think Gayle at least will return v Derby.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #2

    This can’t be right. According to a couple of people on here, we didn’t sign attack minded players. Clearly that is true, appart from Diame, Murphy, Atsu, Ritchie, and two attack minded full backs (6 out of 12), we signed all defenders 😀

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #3

    how many times have you seen Lazaar play to drop Dummett and slot him straight in ?
    in the last game Dummett had possibly the best winger in the league under control why drop him
    Lazarr time will come but Dummett did nothing to be dropped for

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #4

    Spoof –
    previous thread
    as I said about after the Reading game if we can be in the top three at the end of September then we look like we will be in a very good position and set fair for the season – hopefully!!!

    Anyway to Saturday evening what teamed you think he will start with…

    could it be a team of 11 RAFA signings from this transfer window.

    Also we have got to lay a few bogies this season – i.e.
    Derby A – don’t know the last time we won
    Norwich A – I think it was Keegan’s promotion season
    Brighton A – Canny while since a win there too
    Wigan A – bad record there too!!
    Blackburn A – nowt clever there either
    Forest A – Ain’t clever there too!

    And there the ones of the top of my Heed!!!

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #5


    Dummet frequently has good wingers in his pocket. Trouble is, if he makes one small error, everyone is instantly after him, simply because he is Dummet, and want him dropped for a more attacking option, even if it weakens us defensively.

  • Spoof

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #6


    Trying to second guess Rafa’s team selection is possibly more difficult than mission impossible, but I will give it a go,

    Anita Mbemba Lascellas Dummett
    Hayden Shelvey/Colback
    Ritchie Diame Gouffran

    Derby are a good side who should be a challenger for us so I expect Rafa to keep it tight, how tight I just don’t know which is why I’m so unsure about Shelvey or Colback, I hope it’s Shelvey so we have a bit more threat, and if Derby do give it a go as I expect them to then it will be the pace of Gayle for counter-attacking which will give him the nod, Yedlin and Lazaar are both so attack minded that I give them no chance at all in what should be such a difficult fixtures, good solid reliable defenders is what I expect Rafa to go with, on that note I would have Gamez ahead of Anita but it does seem as if Anita is a Rafa favourite.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #7


    I think, since a few names are starting to cement places now, we wont see too many changes from brighton. Perez wont lead the line this time (he did ok, made a pest of himself, but ultimately a fish out of water as spoof said). Gayle probably starts instead.


    Gamez mbemba lascelles dummet

    Hayden shelvey

    Ritchie diame goofy


    I might be wrong about Gamez. Doubt yedlin will start there, so possibly Anita will start at RB again.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #8


    Almost SNAP 😀

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #9

    think thats on here with the prem manager lot
    but its not them that dropped him it was you why ?
    is Lazarr a better player i don’t know i suspect you don’t know either


  • BeeGuy

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #10

    I would not get fixated on “Rafa’s Best eleven”. He thinks in terms of the army available to him. He will put a team out based on situation, who is rested or tired, and technical abilities needed. With 2 games a week, and the depth of this squad, he would be fool to do otherwise – and he ain’t no fool.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #11


    Not sure, but i think you might have mistaken my for YMFB. I agree with you that dummet should not be dropped for an untried Lazaar.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #12

    My = me*

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #13

    Blog death?

  • Tsunki

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #14

    “We will continue to assess the squad over the next few months and see how we are doing before the end of the year.”

    Don’t get fixated either on this army of players surviving a mini-cull in the January window either. I think there are a few tweaks to come, regardless of how well we are doing, players will have to swim upstream fast to stay with the gaffer 🙂

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #15

    I would like to see Lazaar because he’s a new signing lol. Obviously for the Derby game Dummett is more reliable so i won’t be sad if he starts again. I actually forgot Perez started last game, i meant we should start with Gayle lol. My bad.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #16

    Latest email musing from Wor Rafa –

    “Promotion has to be the main focus, so we had to build a team with that as the priority,” explained Benitez.  “There is no sense in building for the Premier League if it means we don’t have the right players to get out of this division. When you look at our squad, though, there are many players in different positions who will be very good for the Premier League too. We will need to make some changes if we are successful at getting promotion, of course, but the foundation of a Premier League squad is already there. It is a good blend of players that we have now.”

  • firebug666

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #17

    Dummet is not a bad defender, Lazaar however offers something different, Like Dummet he can track his man and get a tackle in, but he also has quick feet, can dribble out of defence or pick a pass that will get us moving.

    Dummet does his job, and is decent at it, but for me Lazaar offers a bit more.

    Just my opinion on the two.

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #18


    this is not a trick question

    have you seen him play for more then a few minutes or youtube

    so far not come across anyone thats seen him play a full game

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #19

    Lazarr that is !!

  • firebug666

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #20


    I don’t make assumptions on a player from you tube clips mate. In truth I like to look up our new players and read what other think of them if I have not seen them.

    I’m not slating Dummet, I actually think he is decent, I don’t like it when he hoofs the ball down the wing like, especially when he has other options.

    Lazaar however is a better all round defender, he is intelligent, reads the game well and can play a great pass, not sure on his crossing ability like.

    I just think he will offer more than Dummet, but then Rafa will know what he has and who will be playing, though I expect him to start with Dummet and give Lazaar a run out after the break.

    Judging any play can be difficult, as the may look great in the team we buy from, but then just not fit with our team or system. Only time will tell.

    I hope we get to see him on Saturday though.

  • TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa

    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #21

    i dont think there is any shot at rafa starting yedlin and lazar on the road together. He will mix it up and use anita/gamez and dummet to have one attacking defender and one and defense first defender.

    I think people should lose the idea that he is going to pick our best 11 and start them every week. While there will be a few out there almost every week (ritchie/lac/mabema) i think the rest will rotate.

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #22

    thanks firebug

    i just thought it was as case of blog hysteria to get rid of the unfashionable Dummett without knowing the pros and con of Lazarr

    yourself not included

  • Our Toon

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #23

    I want to see lazaar start ahead of dummett if lazaar is used as a full back, dummett is a decent squad player at best, good at defending but offers no width in terms of attacking abilities. Attacks often die out when the ball is switched with dummett going backwards rather than crossing. This results in all of our threat coming from the right, more predictable and easier to defend against.

    I’ve not seen lazaar play but if he doesn’t get a game now then how will we ever know if he’s better than a 2nd rate player in dummett as fullback? Answer is never, lazaar will need time to adapt the the pace etc, I’d rather have a left footed player who doesn’t get a nose bleed when venturing in the opposition half.

    Anita does both sides well on the right, let’s hope lazaar does on the left.

  • Wayayman

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #24

    We’re in an unusual position of having had a lot of our players away this week on international duty. Rafa will take thins into consideration no doubt with his team selection so we might see a surprise or two in the line up for Saturday.
    Would love to see the new boys flying but only when they’ve had some time to train together.

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #25

    our toon

    sorry mate but it could take a few week for Lazaar to take the shirt off Dummett
    new team
    new league
    new country
    i think Rafa will introduce him slowly when does get the shirt it will be down to him to to keep it
    i have not seen him play so i won’t judge till i have

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #26

    Our toon/hibbit/firebug

    IF lazaar, over the next few games, shows he can defend well, and also get forward and create a few things on the left, then he will of course become the starting left back. Dummet will be the one who comes on and shuts the door when its time to see out the game. Imo,This will not happen until rafa is sure Lazaar is up to scratch defensively above all other things. I have never seen Lazaar play, but i don’t see any reason why he can’t eventually be the starting LB. It just wont happen instantly.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #27

    Many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip, we’ve been here before with unknown quantities I doubt there b more than one new guy chucked into a game at one time.

  • firebug666

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #28

    Aye it’s up to Rafa to sort out his team, but in my humble opinion I fancy Lazaar to hit the ground running. He is a quick and tricky little player, he not one for knocking the ball out of play for a throw, not when he can just nick the ball off the attacker.

    If all his skills come to bare for us he should be a joy to watch.

  • Belfast

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #29

    Tsunki from previous

    It’s a tribute to Jesper you trouble maker.

  • Belfast

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #30

    Might change it to blog legend and give you something to complain about. 🙂

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #31


    I hope that turns out to be the case. I think must of us wanted a starting left back. I will be more than happy if Lazaar turns out to be as good as that, and I will feel reasured knowing we have what is essentially a locked safe waiting on the bench in dummet for when things need to be tightened up.

  • firebug666

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #32


    Sounds like a sound plan, Dummet is exactly the type of player to come on a close a game out, he has a turn of pace and dogs attackers down the wing, and if they are tired and he is fresh so much the better.

    Lazaar is a proper left footer, but is clever with both feet, maybe and hopefully we have signed a gem. I think he will handle this league fine, and that will give him what he needs to adapt to the prem next season……Oh yes I am confident we will go up.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #33

    Belfast- Don’t buster blood vessel over it!

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #34

    I think Dummet starts saturday, Lazaar probably starts midweek, dummet again next weekend, then rafa will assess whether Lazaar is ready to take the starting short on a more regular basis. Thats just how i think it’ll happen.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #35


  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Sep 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #36

    Although hopefully he is wearing shorts, too. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

  • hibbit

    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #37


    in Dummett’s defence
    over the last few seasons “when in doubt put it out” has possibly been the safest play when you look at the outlets he’s had to work with

  • firebug666

    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #38


    I agree marra, He does his job to his best, I’ll not knock him for that, but if we have a player that can win the ball instead and allow us to keep possession that has to be better.

    Lazaar will also kick it out if he cannot win the ball, but his ability with his clever feet give him another option.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #39

    Belfast @29 yeah right I’m sure our Whirling Dane will see it that way too. 🙂

    Mark@36 😀

  • Tsunki

    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #40

    Hibbit – that’s a great idea for Paul Dummetts autobiography –

    “In My Defence”©


You must log in to post a comment.