23-year-old Javier Manquillo was brought in by Rafa from Atletico Madrid in the summer for around £4M.
He played for all the Spanish youth sides from U16 through U21, and he’s an excellent technical player who can play in either full-back position, and he’s currently holding down the left-back position.
He has already improved a lot since he was at Sunderland during their relegation season last term.
And he says it was tough at the Stadium of Light, but he became a better player because of that experience.
Manquillo went back to Atletico Madrid in the summer, and he says he was really surprised to receive a phone call form Rafa Benitez – but after the call, he was keen to join the Magpies.
Javier Manquillo – in action at Huddersfield
Javier was interviewed yesterday, and here are some of the things he said – as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“When I went to Liverpool (on loan in 2014), it was my first big step and I was very young back then.”
“And when I went to Sunderland, it was a very tough season for us.”
“In football, you never know what is going to happen in the future.”
“You can have a really bad time and then it can quickly turn around.”
“Fortunately, that’s what has happened with me. I knew I had to join Newcastle and that we could have some good times.”
“This time last year, I could never have imagined I would be signing for Newcastle,”
“It was a big surprise when I got the call from Rafa. It’s the right move for me.”
“The reason I came here was because I knew Newcastle was a big club.”
“Sunderland was really tough, but like everything in life, you learn from things can have gone wrong,”
“In a way, that difficult year made me a better player. I think I have progressed, and now I’m just concentrating on doing well for Newcastle.”
“Everyone knows Rafa is a great manager and I knew he would help me become a better player.”
“I knew it was a massive move for me and a huge club I was joining,”
“I was set on the move as soon as Rafa called me. I knew this would be a big step in my career, allowing me to progress. I’m really happy to be here.”
“There’s a big Spanish influence here and that certainly helps me – coach, trainers, some of my team mates.”
“That makes life so much easier for me. It benefits in so many ways.”
“Of course, it’s always good when you have players and staff who speak the same language.” “It has really helped me settle in well.”
“There’s a great atmosphere around the place.”
“We are not thinking of relegation.” “It’s just a matter of taking it game by game.”
“Right now, we’re not looking too far ahead, just focusing on Bournemouth.”
Javier is exactly the type of player Rafa likes to coach – he is young, keen to improve and a good technical p[layer.
Newcastle are hoping to bring in a left back in January so we’ll have to see how Javier does through the end of this year.
But we hope he keeps improving because he’s looked a good player for us recently.
He has played 8 times for Newcastle in the Premier League so far this season.
What do you think?