It seems that Rafa Benitez in his press conference let one slip in answering one of the questions on players who have been playing without being 100% fit.
Two players whose contracts will run out at the end of are Yoan Gouffran (44 appearances – 39 starts this season) and Vernon Anita (31 Appearances – 26 start this season) who between them have played 75 times for Newcastle this term and started 65 times
Vurnon Anita and Rafa Benitez
Our best guess is that Vurnon Anita will be given a new deal because he has proved, especially last season with Rafa in charge, that he is a good player in the Premier League.
But maybe for Yoan will miss out after being a little off-form towards the end of the season, but the Frenchman still had his best ever season for Newcastle in terms of appearance as and goals scored – 7 goals – some of which were terrific.
It seems like quite a few players have been playing with injuries during the second half of a very tough and difficult season.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles first felt his groin was hurting back in late October – so that’s a long time playing injured – like six months before he had his hernia surgery earlier this week – amazing commitment from the captain.
But Rafa said in his press conference today that Vurnon Anita and Matt Richie have also playing injured, which may explain some poor form from Anita recently, before he was taken out of the firing line.
This is the statement Rafa made today in his press conference when talking about the three players who have played while injured:
“We have had a few players playing for the team with pain – Jamaal was playing a lot of games with pain (like six months!).
“Anita was making a great effort at the end for us and Ritchie was also playing with pain.”
“They were playing with pain and I think that is something that is positive for them and their commitment to the team.”
“I’m really pleased for them to do the effort, but hopefully they will now be fine for the next season”
That sounds like Vurnon Anita will report to pre-season training on Monday July 3rd – 3 days after his current contract runs out.
So we assume he will be getting a new one.
Rafa Benitez and Yoan Gouffran
We’d also like Yoan to get a new deal and maybe it was the 39 starts he has made this season which was the reason he was off-form and a little jaded towards the end of the season – could be.
He would be a very good and experienced squad player for next season.
Sign them up Rafa.