We remember in January Rafa Benitez saying that even one or two players coming into the team can make a difference.
And Rafa turned out to be right when he finally brought in Chelsea’s Kenedy and Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on loan in January.
Both players have been outstanding for us and whether happens with them – we are thankful they came in and helped us survive in the Premier League.
It’s almost certain Dubravka will be brought in by Rafa for €4M in the loan contract but Kenedy could be more difficult.
Rafa Benitez got the very best out of Kenedy
The recent news is that Chelsea will sell but want more than £20M for Kenedy and while we’d like to think Ashley would back Rafa – everything points to Kenedy being too expensive for us.
But maybe Rafa can bring him in on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy next summer – when we should be much better off financially.
The problem with that is Chelsea will want the money this summer to fund new players coming in.
The one loan player who didn’t do well was Leicester City striker Islam Slimani who we signed when injured – only because we left it until the final hours of the January window.
The Algerian was out injured for two months and is now banned for three games so he made just four appearances with one start.
It’s extremely doubtful that Rafa will want to make Slimani’s move permanent for £21M.
But when you look at the loan moves we made in January, two were excellent and Kenedy and Dubravka helped us survive.
You cannot ask much more than that – that has to be put down to being a success.