The news is that Rafa wanted to bring 23-year-old Javier Manquillo to Newcastle last week and he was the man who pushed through the deal for a reasonable fee of £4.5M from Atletico Madrid.
That was the second time we have recruited a right back from the Madrid club in a year (Jesus Gamez recruited last summer) and the second time we have signed a right-back who was on loan at Sunderland in the previous season – we signed DeAndre Yedlin last summer.
But Rafa knew all about Javier’s so-so form while on loan in England – last season at Sunderland he wasn’t the first choice for the Black Cats with Billy Jones preferred and two seasons ago at Liverpool he didn’t play well.
Javier Manquillo – knows he has to improve to be successful on Tyneside
He did manage to play 22 times with one goal for Sunderland last season and while at Liverpool he played 19 times.
In between, he spent a season on loan at Marseille and racked up an impressive 43 appearances for the French club in the 2105-2016 season.
After the game on Saturday after Javier had made his debut in the second half Benitez explained why he had decided to recruit both players in one week:
THis is what Rafa said as reported in the Chronicle:
“With Jacob Murphy we were looking for some wingers with some pace and he can give us that.”
“With Javier Manquillo, he can play both positions and we needed to cover a little at right-full-back.”
“He has to improve obviously from the last season but he is a player with potential.”
“So if he can train with us these days and understand what we are looking for he can be a good addition.”
“He has some experience in the Premier League.”
Rafa obviously believes he can make his young countryman into a much better player on Tyneside – and we wouldn’t bet against the manager.
What do you think?