Rafa built a whole new team that could get promoted last season at the first time of asking from the Championship and he knew exactly what he wanted – principally players with Championship experience but some who had also shown they can play in the Premier League.
And Rafa knows exactly the players he wants to bring in when he builds his new team this summer and it looks like he is looking for players who have already proven they can play well in the Premier League.
So when we see players he wants we should remember that during the transfer market so players like Andros Townsend, James McCarthy, Ryan Shawcross, Harry Maguire and the like could be the top targets as reports suggest.
Andros Townsend – one player we expect back at Newcastle this summer
But Rafa will also bring in players from the continent because they tend to be cheaper.
As long as they are mentally tough enough to stand the significant strains of playing in the Premier league for a prominent and high visibility club like Newcastle United.
Some players we have brought in during the past few years have not had those personal characteristics and didn’t make it and it wasn’t good for them or the club.
Rafa has talked today in ChronicleLive and was asked if he had already starting identifying summer transfer targets:
“Yes, but you have to do this even if you are not promoted,” “You still have to look for the best players possible in the market.”
“The difference now is you do not know who your target is because it depends on the money.”
“It is important to pass on names and we are working on that. And depending on what is going on, make the decision.”
“The ideal situation is to bring in some experience.” “But at the same time you have to analyse the prices. They are sometimes impossible.”
“You have to go and look for a little bit of balance.”
“You always try to find balance with experience in the Premier League and players that are really good in the Championship who can go up and be hungry.”
“Sometimes players from abroad are a little bit cheaper, but they can be better players.”
“The main thing will be to make sure, if you bring in players from abroad, that they are mentally strong enough and with the personality to go with the intensity of the Premier League.”
We are hoping that a Newcastle United back in the Premier League with a recognized world-class manager like Rafa Benitez in charge, with his renowned persuasive capabilities, will make the club a big draw for good players.
The difficulty for Newcastle, much like it was last summer, will be the inflated prices that will be asked for players with prices being quoted already way over the top for some of our targets.
Rafa and Lee Charnley working together will have to use their collective skills to get some good deals for Newcastle.
But they showed they were very good at that last summer.
We need the same this summer, but it will be even harder and prices will be even more inflated.
Newcastle will need to bring in one or two good free agents or those who have reasonable release clause in their contracts.
For some other top targets we will just have to bite the bullet and pay the going price.