Rafa Talks About Top Player He May Keep This Season

There will be a decision made on Cheick Tiote’s future by the 20th September when the transfer window closes in the Emirates.

If Cheick is not sold by then Rafa Benitez will quickly integrate him into the Newcastle squad and he will be available for the team to play in the Championship.

Benitez likes Cheick as a person and a player and he has said today the  30 year-old has been training very well.

rafa benitez cheick tiote

Rafa Benitez and Cheick Tiote last season

Chieck is fully fit but he lacks match practice and that would take a few games to correct for a player who is massively experienced, but has been trying to leave Newcastle for two years now.

This is what Rafa has said today about the 52 times capped Ivory Coast defensive midfielder:

“I was talking with Tiote on Tuesday because obviously we are still waiting,” “The 20th is the date the transfer window closes in the Emirates.”

“He is training really well, so I just told him, ‘Look, just wait a little bit, keep training hard and then we can decide’. He is a player who still has something to offer.”

“I think the rest of the players appreciate that he’s a good professional and it’s a normal situation for them.”

“They know that the market is still open, they know that it’s not easy for a player to keep training but not necessarily be involved.”

“But, because they can see him training, maybe they will say, ‘Hmm, he could start’. He’s not a player who is not physically at the right level.”

“It is one thing to be physically fit – and he is fine – but the other thing is the match fitness, and you have to play games to get match fitness.”

“So maybe he’s a little bit short of match fitness, but in every training session, he is fine physically.”

“It’s one more player in the squad, and everybody is just waiting to see what happens.”

Cheick may have some difficulty making the first team with players like Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback and even Vurnon Anita fighting it out for the two central midfield positions.

But there’s no doubt we can use Cheick this season – he would add experience and bite to Newcastle’s central midfield and Rafa had him playing very well last season.

One more experienced player in the squad cannot be bad to help see us through what is a tough season.

But in January we’ll probably see Cheick linked with a potential move away from Newcastle, as he was last January.

His contract runs out next June.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Oct 6, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Ah Terry and KK, my favourite people!

    Did you really have that conversation? You sold Milner for I thought 10 but anyway, a player with obviously enormous potential (he was being compared to Rooney in many ways), in order to bring Scwei…… in? And you were shocked when you were quoted 50 mil? And you were left with no replacement?

    I honestly thought MA was behind that naive move, which visibly weakened my team.

    Anyway, still love you guys, but…

  • martoon

    Oct 6, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #2

    I have to say as a ST holder I’m not happy about this TV change:
    Mon 26.12.2016 Sheffield Wednesday (h) (7.45pm)

    It is hard enough getting home from the boxing day afternoon game but after an evening game there will be no buses whatsoever on boxing day – absolute madness!

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #3

    Benitez saying “we can decide”.
    Decide on what – suggests to me that they have an offer already on the table from an Emirates club.

  • Budge123

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #4

    From TV listing – was hoping to get to Forest away but can’t get down there for a Friday evening kick off. Bugger.

    Agree about Boxing day kick off Martoon it will be bedlam! Not a Metro in sight I would guess.
    Ok for TV but crap for the fans who attend (esp away fans ) but let’s not consider the fans as long as sky is ok

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #5

    Or maybe they are considering an extension, depending on whether an offer comes in.

  • Jib

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #6

    Cyprus everywhere I looked Milner’s fee is quoted as £12 million

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #7

    Jimmy – extension – certainly a possibility. Mr T – match fit – could certainly do a job in the Championship. So it could be that an offer is in and they are still pondering whether to keep him as an “insurance policy” for promotion or let him go.

  • Average_Contents

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #8


    I’ll give you a clue. “they” means whoever was above kk and called the shots.

    Basically they got lied too. Don’t you remember the constructive dismissal case he won.
    One other instance I can remember was Sami Hyppia. I’d wager there were more.

    “They said ‘we’ve already got one – Schweinsteiger’. He’s at Man United now but seven or eight years ago he was a superstar and they said we could get him.”

  • Legolas

    Oct 6, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #9

    Tiote was a good player for us but that is the key word ‘was’. Last season, I used to cringe when he was given the ball in our half and he tried that swivel thing he does and he nearly always lost the ball. I wouldn’t be to upset if he left.

  • Toon Tang

    Oct 6, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #10

    Get shut and move on.

    Thanks for the mammary’s Mr T


    Oct 6, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #11

    Sell Tiote We Are Doin Fine Without Him, Promote A Youngster In Place Of Tiote

  • G

    Oct 6, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #12

    @11, not sure we need to promote a youngster, we appear to be fairly well off for midfielders. Nice to have the option of doing so though.

  • dok - the horrid colonial

    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #13

    even if tiote doesn’t leave, depth on the bench is a good thing.. for this season anyways…

  • NUFCPaul

    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #14

    Rafa is a great man manager. Others would be petty and make him train away from the main squad, but not Benitez. He wants every player available to him. He’s hanging fire until the other transfer window shuts and if Tiote is still here then he’ll (hopefully) happily focus on playing for us because Rafa has treated him fairly. Rafa always plays the long game and thinks two or three steps ahead of most other managers.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #15

    So nice to see young Arma score the deciding goal for England’s U20’s against the Dutch yesterday. 🙂 Equally good that Callum Roberts got a run out in the same game. He might get longer in the next game, fingers crossed. Always good to see our academy lads doing well.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Oct 6, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #16

    Who cares about tioti. The guy would walk out on us the first opportunity he gets. He been trying to leave us for years.


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