Rafa Struggling For Players – But This Skillful Attacking Midfielder Could Become Our Second Loan Signing

The transfer window still has 20 days to go, and on the positive side of things, if Rafa can get three good players in by August 9th, it could yet turn out to be a decent transfer window for us.

But Rafa has had to struggle once again to get owner Mike Ashley to spend the club’s money.

And now it’s looking like Rafa will just stay one more year before he joins a much more ambitious club – and there are plenty of them around.

But Newcastle is not one of them.

We are left trying to get players who cannot get first-team football at other clubs.

The Mail has briefly reported that Benitez is looking to get a possible loan deal to bring Everton’s Nikola Vlasic to Tyneside.

The 20-year-old Croatian International joined Everton last summer for £10M from Hajduk Split.

Vlasic played 12 times with no goals in the Premier League last season and 19 times in total with 2 goals and one assist.

But Everton had a tumultuous season with Ronald Koeman being fired early in the season and big Sam Allardyce taking over.

Vlasic is still very young, and if he comes to Newcastle, he could play in the number 10 role.

But  Rafa would need to get an option to buy him in the loan contract.

He has skills for sure, and maybe Rafa can get the best out of him at Newcastle.

But we must have an option to buy him for around £10M (or less) next summer in the case that he plays well for us.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • G

    Jul 20, 2018 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Looked frightened of contact on those rare occasions he did play last season? Could be due to his limited appearances, but I personally think this guy would be more suited to the continent.

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #2

    I’d not be upset with taking Vlasic in principle, but I think the last thing we need is a young, promising winger.

    Sky are saying Emery may be willing to let Lucas Perez leave. I only mention it as we were so heavily linked with him last season and I think the majority were quite excited by the prospect.

  • lesh

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #3

    Rafa’s between a rock and a hard place and though he is and will do all he can, I’ve no doubt we’re in for another nail-biter of a season.

    So, assuming we’re under threat of relegation by Christmas – yet again – Ashley will have three courses of action open to him:

    Back Rafa with substantial funds, agree to his wishes and sign him.on;

    Back Rafa with modest funds but no extension agreed;

    Don’t back Rafa and rely on him to wheel and deal (eg be forced to sell the likes of Lascelles)

    Sack Rafa and recruit the likes of Moyes fir example, with a substantial transfer kitty available to him;

    As above but a small or no kitty;

    Do nowt and hope Rafa keeps us up.

    If I was a betting man, I know where I’d put my money

    Any thoughts?

  • Lindisfarne

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #4

    Does MA have to declare at the same time if he makes any payments to himself, or do we just find out in two years when the accounts are released?

  • lesh

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #5

    * three courses of action? Six at least and the number of options becoming almost like Monty Python’s ‘what have the Romans done for us’ sketch!

  • Little h

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #6

    I wouldnt hold your breath id say were done with transfers now.

    We finished 10th last year with this squad and excluding ki for merino its the same squad mike will be happy with that survive just each season he gets 100 million we get a brazillian on loan


  • Lindisfarne

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #7

    Go on holiday and then declare Rafa was not prepared to debate reasonably.

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #8

    lesh, lol – I was wondering if I’d been wrong in placing my faith in you for an accurate analysis of the club accounts.

    Another option for your list – Sell up and let us get on with life without being under his substantial shadow.

  • lesh

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #9


    We’ll find out in March/ Easter 2020!

    NUFC’s not a plc and being owned by Ashley, he can take whatever he likes as long as it’s legal!

    Is there no end to the joy that Ashley gives. He’s a bloody disgrace

  • posada

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #10

    Is Rafa a double edged sword for our owner or any owner with limited funds.
    The good side. Organisation, preparing the team, tactics etc.
    The down side. Some of his buys have been poor.
    Anyone who does not fit his template has to go.

    Consequently good players like Mitro and Mbemba must leave. The club has invested millions in those two players. If you let the world of football know they have no future at NUFC then other clubs will offer you scrap value.

    Take Mitro. Went to Fulham and was suddenly a hero worth 20M. Before that loan he was probably only worth 8M. You could argue this lad should be reaching his full potential and worth 50M in an inflated market. Instead we end up selling cheap and buying at inflated prices.

    Contrast that with SBR. Came in and got everyone playing as he knew he had to. One player Pistone was a write off. Got him playing and sold him for 3M when the right offer came along.

    Trying to be objective about this. Backing Rafa’s vision is a difficult one for an owner.
    It’s expensive writing off some players or not using them. Then you have to get them out and replace them at todays prices.

  • Little h

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #11

    You forgot the option of put it up for sale in october attract some rich business man feed the press with “leaks” from “sauces” make the whole fan base believe your gonna sell and swerve the whole subject of transfers grab a bargain loan then on january 29th claim the buyer was wasting your time with a poxy offer of 50 mil more than the club is worth

    Ive never heard of anybody knowingly depleting the value of something theyre tryna sell so badly

    On a positive his reputation has taken massive hits

    To Mike ashley an open invite to come to the farm and meet the beast ill happily let you in its pen with it ill even lend you a red tshirt

  • lesh

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #12


    Selling up would suit everybody but ask yourself whether it’s likely this season? Bear in mind Staveley claimed to have offered £300 with a relegation clause £250 if relegated. That probably included whatever to cover what Ashley’s owed. If she did offer that, then that’s after undertaking due diligence and evaluating the clubs assets, liabilities and growth potential.

    Take say £140m out of the £250m/ £300m and that’ll give Ashley about what he paid for the club – no or little profit for his venture.

    We can but hope that someone’s able or willing to buy the bustard out before any more damage’s done.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #13

    Rafa goes we go!

    Lard arse out!!

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #14

    lesh, I’m not sure if it’s likely. I was very hopeful until recently but admit I was getting carried away reading some signs which probably weren’t there in hindsight.

    I always thought Staveley had a real proposal for the club but that it was dependent on getting the right price. That means in reality some person or persons had given her a pot of cash (say £400M) and said “buy the club, whatever is left over after the purchase you can keep”.

    Ashley wanted the price of the club plus his debt repaid, which forced the price up (potentially to £400M), leaving no room for Staveley’s payday. If she wasn’t going to get any commission, then it’s time for her to sit back and wait until such time as she could get better terms. After all, if her backer is still interested, they’re not going anywhere.

    If Ashley is indeed paying off some debt, say £50M, with the Sky money, then his asking price for the club comes down by that much and leaves Staveley some potential commission. Her buyer gets the club for the price they want to pay, Ashley gets his margin, Staveley gets her payday and everyone’s happy.

    Except for the fact it leaves us with no transfer budget and p!ssed off manager, not to mention the fans who are completely left in the dark. Hopefully the long term gain would be worth the short term pain.

    My figures are illustrative, btw – not meant to be accurate.

  • lesh

    Jul 20, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #15


    Were Stavely or somebody to buy the club as you described, I think Rafs’d be happy to tread water to build up funds to move forward. As long as he sees genuine will to succeed, I think he’d go with whatever needs to be done. Again, our fate is in Ashley’s hands.


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