Here’s A New Dilemna Rafa Benitez Has To Solve This Summer

Rafa Benitez at Newcastle is thinking about signing another center-back to fill in for the injured Florian Lejeune, who looks to be out for most of this season with a severe ACL knee injury.

This has come as a blow to Newcastle because we were looking to buy a fullback and a couple of strikers – but now Rafa may have to somehow bring in another experienced central defender as well.

We have been linked with Swansea defender Federico Fernandez and Rafa wanted to take him on loan but the Swans have said that option is not available and that he will cost £10M.

That’s a lot of money to pay for Fernandez, who may only be a backup defender, so it’s going to be interesting as to how Rafa handles this particular situation.

Swansea defender Federico Fernandez – in Argentina’s colors

Fernandez was at Napoli in Rafa’s first year there from 2013-2014 and the player has a high regard for the manager.

When he signed for Swansea these are the comments he made about the move:

“I already had the idea of playing in the Premier League, and when this interesting possibility arrived, Napoli and I found an agreement with absolute serenity.

“I was feeling good at Napoli, but the Premier League is attractive and is a fantastic league.

“The development I had under Benitez allowed me to move to the Premier League. Here football is different to Serie A.

“I appreciate Rafa a lot, and he sent me a good message when I joined Swansea. I thank him because he allowed me to grow. “

“Last season he put faith in me and I learnt a lot. It prepared me for the Premier League.”

His contract at Swansea still has two years to run and while he has played 32 times with 3 goals for Argentina he was not in the squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer.

We doubt Rafa will be willing to pay £10M for him – maybe he will try to sign another center-back who may be available on loan?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

51 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #1

    Will CBA really sanction the signing of a replacement for a player only out for a year, Ryan Taylor was out for two and they just saw it as a bonus in saved appearance money.

  • Belfast

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #2

    Seems to be a theme forming here. Signing players from teams that have just
    been relegated.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #3

    What could possibly go wrong.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #4

    In an ideal world this guy could be bought to cover Lejuene and then Clark moved on when Lejuene is back fit. It’s simply not going to happen though.

  • BeeGuy

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #5

    Since NUFC can’t outscore anyone, the backline has to be as strong as possible. A proven defender is preferable to a striker if NUFC are to stay up. Still need a fullback, too.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #6

    It looks like Clark will be back up to Dummet leaving us with Hayden as a back up to CB if Clark is covering LB, Let’s hope Shelvey isn’t banned and Diame injured when that happens.

  • DubaiMicky

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #7

    Isn’t it a very sad state of affairs that we pretty much only get loans and freebies. What happened to Our Club?

    Ah yes, the fat twat bought us.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #8

    Some people said we signed too many players in the Championship, sods law would have had Dummet and Yedlin out long term if we hadn’t.

  • Belfast

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #9

    It’s like everyone else is shopping in Marks and Spencers and we’re raiding the bins round the back of Asda.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #10

    What was your idea to try and shift him.

  • c-dog

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #11

    Have we not reached our quota on relegated players. Hopefully Rafa doesn’t allow them to bring a losing mentality into the club.

  • Rowan

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #12

    First post in about 5 years…

    I’m really not sure about Rondon – didn’t exactly set the world alight at West Brom. He would certainly give us something; just not sure that something would include 15+ goals a season. I’m still holding out (misguided) hope that we keep Gayle.

    Fernandez at £10m seems unlikely. Can we loan another from the Champo? Know we can’t from the PL (so surely the Drinkwater story is nonsense).

    On the topic of players in relegated teams… Just read that the future of J Ayew is ‘uncertain’ – what are people’s thoughts – would you take him?

  • Jib

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #13

    An Everton supporting relative has just foned
    to say we are in for Leighton Baines !!!

  • ToonTime

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #14

    I seem to remember this time last season most on here were bemoaning the fact that the like of Brighton and Huddersfield were outspending us and we were sure to get relegated. We finished in 10th and if we’d had Dubs & Kennedy from the start we might have made 8th.
    The same outbreak of pessimism is with us this term. I have no doubt that we will finish above last season’s promoted teams as well as this season’s. I think a comfortable top 10 finish this season is a reasonable expectation.

  • lochinvar

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #15

    First it’s Drinkwater and now The Mirror thinks Leighton Baines is a Newcastle target.
    Oh please.
    Let’s get realistic about this and sign Vardy and Maguire from Leicester who will be treading mid table next season at best.

    The whole process is tedious and Rafa must be commanded for his fortitude.

  • lochinvar

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #16


  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #17

    I’d be surprised Jib, Everton avoided relegation last season, he’s not out of contract, hasn’t got a ridiculously low buy out clause we can spend months haggling over and he’s on 70K pw.

  • Veltman

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #18

    Belfast – what happened to your old friend then? Is he got injured?

  • Belfast

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #19

    We’ve already seen what can wrong Jail.
    We’ve came back up twice though and just repeated the same mistakes again.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #20

    It was bearable last time because we thought that the approach was because of lack of funds etc and next year would be different. We even thought Ashley might offer Rafa a contract on his terms. All this window has achieved is proving once and for all that Ashley has no ambition for the club at all, whatsoever, like period.

  • Belfast

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #21

    What one Veltman ?

  • barkel

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #22

    Just about 10 years too late on Baines!

  • hibbit

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #23

    Rowan we can have one more from the Prem just not from Chelsea

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #24

    I wonder what the transfer policy will be when Rafa goes, will Graham Carr be brought back to implement the strategy that had us relegated and almost relegated countless times or will JfK or Wise be given another run out. He might stick with the successful policy of letting the manager himself handing over a list of targets but I’d dread to think who Stuar Pearce’s fourth choices were.

  • SuperShearer

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #25

    There’s some clown (with all of 11 followers) on Twitter claiming we’re about to break our transfer record with a bid for Dembele… no, not the Celtic one… the Barca one! I mean get a grip!!!!! We’re as likely to sign him as we are Mbappe.

  • 9

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #26

    Jail@20 It really doesn’t seem worth posting that the owner has absolutely no ambition for NUFC. He’s quite publiclly, months and months ago put us up for sale and promised never to put in a penny piece, so it’s hardly news!

  • Veltman

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #27

    Belfast – mentioning name has become dangerous,well atleast for the time being.
    I seem to remember you two were close but haven’t seen you defending him one bit when he got attacked.

  • DubaiMicky

    Jul 30, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #28

    Jail, if you paid attention you wouldn’t need to ask. Sadly you don’t.

  • ToonTime

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #29

    The approach is the same this year and we’re definitely stronger than a year ago. Strengthening and consolidating our position in the Premier League. Would I like a new owner with more ambition? Absolutely. But as long as he’s here then that’s all we can expect. It will still be better than the Brighton and Fulham’s of this world IMHO!

  • Jib

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #30

    Keith Downie interviewing Schar in Braga
    on SSN at the mo’

  • Rowan

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #31

    Thanks Hibbit.

    So I guess the next few days are to be spent sweating over Muto’s work permit, hoping Rondon won’t be a big flop and praying for another striker (despite the imminent acquisition of Rondon – says a lot that people want a ‘top’ striker as well as him doesn’t it?) and a left back. And possibly a centre back.

    I’m happy (relatively) with who we’ve signed though. Still can’t quite believe Chelsea let us take Kennedy again. Fending off interest for Lascelles is possibly the most important thing we can do this summer (aside from Rafa signing a new contract of course, which seems unlikely). I still think there are merits to keeping Gayle if we can.

    I admire your optimism ToonTime (sort of) and you make a good point that people can get carried away with the negativity (though that’s kinda what Ashley does to you!) but I think this coming season will be far more difficult than a ‘comfortable’ top ten finish. It was pretty tight down there last season until the last few games… Plus I’m looking at what West Ham & Fulham are doing and thinking they will do well.

  • Reilly

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #32

    The Chronicle
    The Chronicle
    #NUFC LIVE: latest on Gayle and Rondon plus rumoured interest in Leighton Baines.

  • ToonTime

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #33

    West Ham have a decent manager now so will definitely improve on last seaon, but Fulham? Seriously?
    They finished 3rd in the championship to which they have added a couple of players from Nice and one from Besiktas. This is pretty average strengthening for promoted teams. I think they will be lucky to survive. Might depend on how many games Mitro misses through suspension.

  • hibbit

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #34

    there’s a few rumours floating round about this guy !!
    Nahitan Michel Nández Acosta is an Uruguayan footballer who plays in midfielder for Boca Juniors and Uruguay

    £12m release from his contract

  • Mindshaft

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #35

    I still can’t understand the rumours around Rondon, surely he’s as bad in front of goal as Joselu
    Must be well down Rafas list by now and scraping the bottom

  • Jib

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #36

    I mentioned earlier today that next Sunday
    is the 24th anniversary of the passing of
    Terry Hibbit.
    Thinking of the bandy-legged Yorkshireman
    with the magic left foot – I recalled folk saying
    – before they’d seen him kick a ball –
    “What do we want that Leeds reject for ?”

    The onset of the global village and web
    doesn’t seem to have changed the attitude
    of some fans

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #37

    I think Gayle for Rondon is brilliant. We are losing one older striker and bringing another in so we dont have two oldies. And Rondon’s type of striker tends to play on longer than Gayle’s type. A loan would be great.

    I don’t rate Gayle, but it’s interesting to note he has a premiership goal every 220 minutes which is not far off 1 in 2. When you take into account he is often in and out the team at Palace and at us, it’s pretty decent.

    Also WBA scored more than we did two seasons ago and Rondon only got 8. WBA play to his strengths with long balls too. So I don’t see him getting 15 for us because Rafa is better than Pulis. Pulis is probably better than Rafa where Rondon is concerned. Having said that I’ve softened my stance on him having seen the other players we’ve been linked to.

  • Belfast

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #38


    Tsunki ?

    I don’t remember him being under attack to be honest ? I think Ibiza told him off for being a bad boy to Jesper and he just left in protest.

  • Belfast

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #39

    Is Leighton Baines not in his thirties now ? Good luck trying to convince them to sign him.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #40

    I really rated a few of the Uruguay players although I can’t remember the names of any. Hope we get him. It sounds like he has potential to go on to be great which is something lacking in most our signings who tend to be good but unlikley to get much better. Murphy probably the exception.


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