News in the Chronicle today that Rafa Benitez is to hold a review of the club’s current recruitment structure and the Youth Academy.
It seems that Rafa is already concerned about the upcoming January transfer window which could be crucial for Newcastle this season as it was last season.
Last January we brought Kenedy and Martin Dubravka in on loan and the two of them played a major role in helping Newcastle survive relegation and finish 10th in the Premier League.
The manager will run the meeting with Lee Charnley, Head of Recruitment Steve Nickson and European scout Paul Baker all expected to attend.
Rafa is not expecting to get any sizable transfer funds from Mike Ashley in January but he is determined that Newcastle are more decisive and bring in players early in the January window.
Steve Nickson and his team are out there scouting players we can potentially bring in during January, either on loan or permanently.
Rafa Benitez – holding a meeting to discuss changes at the club
They will also discuss the Newcastle Academy at the meeting and what Rafa wants to do in that area, so the club can start to bring more young players through to the first team squad.
Apparently, Rafa wanted to make changes to the Academy last summer but got nowhere with Mike Ashley or Lee Charnley.
This meeting could be good news if the owner is willing to allow Rafa to reorganize parts of the club that need improvement.
With Rafa’s contract running out next June it would be disastrous if this meeting didn’t reach some agreements as to how the club needs to change in some vital areas.
The good news is that Rafa seems to be doing things as though he is staying long term at the club whether Ashley is the owner or not.
But that could be wishful thinking and Rafa is extremely professional and simply doing his job as best as he can under difficult current circumstances.
We have to hope some agreements are reached that will convince Rafa he can still operate at Newcastle – even with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley still in place.
We admire Rafa’s professionalism and character under these difficult conditions since we were promoted last year.
He’s made to measure for Newcastle but needs some support from the hierarchy.
Hopefully, he will get some in January.