Rafa Benitez was pleased once the transfer window closed because he then had his squad in place for the season (he will probably add to it in January) and he could get to work on things like set plays and get the players organized and telling them what he wanted from them.
Rafa gave a number of interviews yesterday as part of the build up to our game tonight at Derby County at the iPro (Pride Park) Stadium.
Bas Dost – seems like one we couldn’t get in
Rafa was asked if he was relived that the transfer window had finally ended:
“Not relief. “But I think it was most important for us to know this was our squad, so we could start working on everything – set-pieces, tactics.”
“Whatever you want to do, you know you’re squad and everybody can listen and understand.”
“Before, when you have three, four or five players who do not know if they will be here or they will leave, it was hard to organize tactics and set-pieces.”
“When you say ‘I will prepare a corner’, and you have three players that are thinking ‘I will leave’, so they don’t put any interest in.”
“Now we know where we are. We will work the same way, but I think it will be more productive.”
“The business has been great. “Could be better? Yes. Could be worse? For sure. But I think we did a good job all together.”
“We have the players we want. “In terms of the positions and characteristic of the players, it could be better, because we could have two here instead of one and another one who maybe can play in this role.”
“I was really pleased, because these players know what we want.” “We were looking for a striker to compete against the strikers.”
“It had to be a big lad who could be a target man and who would be good in the air. We have that in Murphy.”
“We wanted a winger with pace. We have that in Atsu. We got what we were looking for. “I’m happy with the players we have, for sure.”
“We had other targets that we couldn’t get in because they wanted to stay in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga or the Premier League.”
When Rafa mentions the Bundesliga, maybe that was in reference to Newcastle trying to sign Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost?
Bas ended up signing for Sporting Lisbon on 28th August and he is one who probably turned Newcastle down – so in came Daryl Murphy from Ipswich.
So we also seem to have had targets in La Liga and Serie A – wonder who they were?
Newcastle made a huge profit of about £31M in the summer transfer window, so we still have plenty of cash to add to the squad in January and we think Rafa will do that.
Maybe Alan Judge from Brentford will be one of the players coming in during January?