Rafa Benitez says he is hopeful Newcastle can get somebody through the door this week and before we play at Oxford United in the FA Cup 4th round next Saturday afternoon.
But that’s all Rafa is saying – he’s hopeful of a signing and he’s expecting a signing – and that will at least break the deadlock we have been in for over three weeks in January.
Rafa has also talked about the caliber of player he wants to sign – players that can make the step up to the Premier League.
Rafa Benitez – points the way in training
This is what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle:
“Still nothing yet.” “It’s so obvious that we have to balance a little bit the team – I’m expecting something this week, hopefully.”
“But that’s just my feeling, I’m expecting. You can see that still we can improve the side a little bit.”
“In any team, to have players with quality and with the commitment that Ritchie has can always make the difference.”
“It depends on the level as to whether you can play higher in the division or not.”
“But the way that he works and the passion that he plays with means he can play in any division.”
“I will not say that Ritchie was the most surprising summer signing, because then we could talk about Dwight Gayle, and we would say the same.”
“Those players are both doing really well, but Isaac Hayden is also someone who people were not necessarily aware of his level.”
“When I started people were saying: ‘Oh, Rafa doesn’t know the Championship.’”
“But I was talking with a lot of people; talking about a lot of options, of different players, and Ritchie was one of the first names.”
“He is one player that if you sign him, you know you are right.”
That’s a big advantage Rafa has – his many contacts all over the place – who he can phone and get their opinions on various players.
The signings he made last summer of Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden and DeAndre Yedlin were simply first class.
Hopefully we have more players to sign before next season kicks off in August – hopefully when we are back in the Premier League – where we belong.
Here’s where we stand in the Championship at the moment.