Rafa has given an assessment of his new signings last summer, and he sums up their strengths and what they need to do to become better players.
Overall, given the criticism at the end of the summer transfer window – we are quite pleased with the six players we brought in over the summer.
They were Mikel Merino, Christian Atsu, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune and Joselu and that’s the order in which Rafa assesses the players in his comments below.
Rafa analyzes a player and knows precisely the areas that player needs to improve in.
And there are a number of players he has improved since he arrived at Newcastle in March of last year.
Rafa Benitez gives brilliant analysis of his new players
Here’s an excellent summary of our six new players from Rafa, as reported in the Chronicle:
“Sometimes players with quality with Mikel, it’s easier for the fans to see what they are bringing. But the other summer signings, each one is doing their job,”
“I think the four plus one – with Atsu and not including Merino – signings, they will give us something at certain points.”
“Some of them right now, some of them will need some more time, but they will give us something different and we will be a bit better when compared with last season.”
“If you consider for example that people were criticising Manquillo because he was coming from Sunderland and Liverpool and saying he had not done well.”
“But he was not coming to start the season, he was coming to stay on the bench and then, little by little, start playing more.
“But then DeAndre Yedlin was injured and he had to play at right-full-back, then the other day at left-full-back.”
“He has given us a little bit and still he can give us much more. It’s a question of time that, over time, he will keep improving.”
“I am happy with him and the other players who work very hard and want to improve, even if still they are not playing at the level that maybe they can play.”
“You go to Jacob Murphy for example. Another one who is a young player, who trains well, trains in another way.”
“He has Atsu and Matt Ritchie playing well, so he needs some time to make sure he will be fine.”
“Lejeune, he was doing really well,” “He was excellent in pre-season, then he was injured and then Clark and Lascelles have been playing well so I wanted to carry on with them.”
“But Lejeune is another one who can give us something different in defense.
“He will be another player that in the end I will be very happy with because he is very professional, and on the ball he is quite comfortable, and he can also win balls in the air.”
“In terms of improving our possession stats, maybe he can help with things like that.”
“Joselu, obviously you know people were talking about him too. But we knew about the potential of Joselu,” Benitez continued.
“We know still he is a player that was not playing too much and he has to improve physically, and then he will improve in the other areas.
“His finishing, people say: ‘Oh no.’ He is a good finisher in training sessions, what we have to be sure is that we can replicate what he does in the training sessions in matches.”
“It is a mixture of things though – sometimes it is the anxiety, the pressure, that you have to manage.”
“He is someone who I think will do well and especially once he has competition, because remember we lost Aleksandar Mitrovic.”
“You have to be sure that you have players available and that they can compete for the positions.”
Rafa has only been at Newcastle for just over 18 months, and it’s simply incredible the improvements he has already made at the club.
Long may it continue.
It’s inspiring to have a world-class manager at Newcastle.