Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush thinks the team Newcastle had in the Championship last season is already good enough to survive in the Premier League, but with three or four new players brought in.
The news in the local press is that Rafa wants to bring in as many as eight new players and if he does that you can bet quite a number of players will be leaving Newcastle this summer.
Rafa has a big job to do in preseason as he gauges which players are good enough to stay and be part of the first team squad and which ones need to be sold so he can get more money to bring in new players.
It’s a massive job to do for Rafa along with the help of Lee Charnley and maybe after the Premier League ends tomorrow, we may see some transfer moves for Premier League players?
Rafa will want to bring players in early so he has a full preseason with them before the Premier League starts up in mid August.
This is what the 55 year-old former Liverpool striker has said about Newcastle and Rafa on BBC Tees:
“He’s done a great job.” “It doesn’t matter how big a club you are, the hardest thing is to get back in the Premier League – and he’s done it.”
“Brighton and Chris Hughton have done an incredible job, but you’ve still got to do it.”
“Newcastle have gone up as Champions, and I think Benitez knows the scores – he’s had a season in that league and he doesn’t want to be there again.”
“Now he’s back in the big time and I’m sure he’s looking for money to spend on players, because everyone needs to improve, and I’m sure Newcastle are the same.”
“They’ve had some good times, they’ve had some bad times in that league, so when you go up to the Premier League and you have a bad game, you get found out.”
“You might get away with it in the Championship, but in the Premier League you won’t – you’ll get found out straight away.”
“I’m sure with his experience at Liverpool, knowing what it’s like to be successful in the Premier League, he needs three or four players.”
“If he can do that, I’m sure he’ll be a success, because one thing for certain is that the crowd will be there, they’ll sell-out every week and it’ll be a great atmosphere there.”
“It’s difficult but they’ve got the manager to do it,” Rush replied when asked if he believes Newcastle can survive next season.
“He needs players; there’s only so much you can do, you need the players to do that.
“I think he can do that, but Newcastle – no disrespect to Middlesbrough or Sunderland – but Newcastle get 60,000 or whatever (52,320 Ian) and it’s going to motivate teams.”
“With the manager, yes Benitez does need players, but I think looking at it there are worse teams in that Premier League than Newcastle now.”
“Newcastle are better than I would say about four or five of those teams in the Premier League now, so if you can add players to that I’m sure Rafa will be saying: ‘Let’s finish mid-table going up.’”
“Liverpool supporters were fantastic but so are Newcastle fans; all they want is 100 per cent – if you lose, then they’ll hold their hand up.”
“Sometimes when Kevin Keegan was there they’d lose 4-3 but still be happy. They’re there to be entertained and if you give 100% and you entertain them, then that’s what they’re looking for.”
“I’m sure under Rafa Benitez they’ll survive.”
Ian made his name playing for Liverpool for 15 seasons from 1980 and he was on Newcastle’s books for a year in 1997 when new manager Kenny Dalglish brought him to Newcastle, after Kenny replaced Kevin Keegan in early 1997.
Rafa will try to bring in eight new players this summer, but whether he will be successful in doing that we’ll have to wait and see.