We’ve always been so impressed with Rafa’s professionalism and his capacity to do lots of hard work.
He made it very clear at the weekend that he didn’t need any vacation this summer – a weekend off would just about do it.
Of course, he goes back to his lordly home in the Wirral to be with his wife and two daughters, and that’s enough for family man Rafa Benitez.
And he can think and watch any football on the TV all day long – yes that’s a perfect life for Rafa Benitez.
But – assuming Rafa stays at Newcastle – there is a ton of work for him to do this summer.
Rafa Benitez – completing his vacation this week?
He probably wants to bring in some younger players to reduce the average age of the squad after signing experienced players like Fernandez, Ki, Rondon, Schar, and Dubravka last summer.
All those players showed they are good enough for Newcastle.
But Rafa will need to offload players who have no futures at Newcastle such as the following players on loan:
- Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest)
- Achraf Lazaar (Sheffield Wednesday)
- Henri Saivet ( Bursaspor )
- Rolando Aarons (Sheffield Wednesday)
- Jacob Murphy (West Brom)
Only Jacob Murphy may have a future at Newcastle, and that’s doubtful at the moment – here’s an article Neil put out yesterday on that.
We don’t know if Rafa wants Dwight Gayle back at Newcastle after he had another great goalscoring Championship season with 24 goals in 38 appearances for West Brom.
Gayle’s future and Rondon’s future may rest on whether West Brom can get promoted this season.
UPDATE: They lost their first leg 2-1 against Aston Villa with Gayle being sent off and will play the second leg and last night West Brom were eliminated on penalties do the price is right.
Kenedy and Antonio Barreca will leave the club after their loan spells this week.
Rob Elliot, Jamie Sterry, and Callum Roberts could also be leaving Newcastle this summer.
Ciaran Clark is now 5th choice center-back, but Rafa may want him through the end of this year to allow Florian Lejeune to fully recover from his second ACL knee injury in nine months.
Newcastle striker Joselu will also leave the club this summer.
So we need that meeting with Ashley and Rafa to take place early this week.
Hopefully, Mike Ashley will come out with the right solution and sign Rafa up for at least three years.
It will be the best thing he will ever do for Newcastle United – maybe he will then leave?
And Rafa will need to get to work, but the good news is he’s already had his vacation.
Howay The Bonny Lads!!