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Rafa Willing To Wheel And Deal – These Potential Deals Prove That

It’s an interesting story developing around Andros Townsend – Newcastle are in negotiations with Crystal Palace to buy back the winger Palace paid £13M for two years ago.

That’s when he left Newcastle so he could hopefully be a regular in the England squad but it hasn’t worked out that way, and he’s not in the England squad in Russia for the World Cup.

The fee mentioned in the local papers is £18M, but we’d be surprised if we can get him back at Newcastle for that fee – it will probably be higher.

It seems Rafa is willing to bring in Andros as a replacement for Matt Ritchie, who could surprisingly leave the club this summer.

Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez – May 2016

AFC Bournemouth, Stoke City, and Middlesbrough are clubs interested in signing the player for £15M.

But Ritchie, who would hardly want to take another step down into the Championship, has been a critical player on Tyneside for two years.

And it’s not surprising that Stoke and Middlesbrough want him because he was a star player in the Championship for both Newcastle and the Cherries.

If we sell Matt for £15M, then we will be able to afford the fee for Andros will be the thinking at Newcastle.

Both Matt Ritchie and Andros Townsend are well liked by Newcastle fans so it will be an odd couple of deals if Andros comes in, and Matt departs.

Ritchie was brought in two years ago to replace the departed Andros Townsend, and he’s been a terrific signing for us.

Ritchie has had two good seasons on Tyneside and he epitomizes the work, passion and drive that is a Rafa Benitez side.

This kind of deal shows Rafa is willing to wheel and deal in this transfer market and if he can get both Kenedy and Townsend in and we lose Ritchie, that’s still an upgrade with the squad on the wings.

Kenedy on one wing and Townsend on the other should help scare some Premier League defenses with Rafa having an excellent working relationship with both players.

But we’d still be sorry to see Matt Ritchie leave the club – he’s been a terrific buy for us, and he will not be forgotten for what he’s done for the club.

What do you think about this?

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #1

    So, the defence is settled, although we could probably do with reinforcements for cover, especially at full back – lower priority probably.

    With the signing of Ki Sung Yeung, we now have midfield cover with proven PL experience and ability.

    If we sign Kenedy and Townsend, you’d have to say we are looking well provided for on the wings.

    Then all we have to do is sign a striker and number 10.

    Things could be looking up

  • lochinvar

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #2

    It’s all very well scaring defences with Kennedy and Townsend but what’s important is who is at 9 and 10 to finish the job.

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #3

    dont know why we cant keep ritchie play him as a number 10 … and still get townsend and kenedy … surely ritchie has the football brain to play that postion … also allows him to drop into midfield … i my self would keep ritchie gives his all on the pitch … losing him takes a player who wants to be at wor club … anyway my thoughts

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #4

    geordietom, I’m not sure selling Ritchie makes 100% sense, but if we have to clear our decks before we bring in replacements (as we do and as any sensibly run club has to) then Ritchie is probably the most logical of our wingers to go (saleable, valuable, has his suitors and isn’t really the pace merchant Rafa seems to prefer out wide)

    I’d be surprised if he goes South – I thought part of the attraction to us was we were not too far from his family in Scotland.

    I’d also wave him off with something of a heavy heart.

  • Jib

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #5

    Folk are saying Ritchie wants to be here
    but he’s been on the South coast all summer
    I know he has family down there but some of
    the press down there say he’s been in touch
    with Bournemouth.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #6

    Family in Scotland??? He’s about as Scottish as Dummet is Welsh.

  • martoon

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #7

    Ritchie is a tricky one – you cannot fault his work-rate and his passion but he is not a true winger with speed and ability to beat a man. We are always talking about upgrading positions and I guess Kenedy & Townsend could be considered as upgrades but I’d still be sorry to see Ritchie leave!

  • barkel

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #8

    I would imagine selling Rithcie would be to do with the fact he wouldn’t be happy being a bit part player after the last two years and we would need to ship him out when his stock is still high, half a season on the bench and the £15mil being quoted could be halved.
    I don’t think trying him in the no.10 would be too beneficial, I guess Rafa has other plans for there. Perez was doing a decent job of it towards the end of the season, perhaps there’s more potential to persist with the younger Perez over a relatively older Ritchie.

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #9


    i agree with you mate dont want him to go but we dont know whats going on behind the scenes … ritchie is a saleable asset … if it means us getting quicker players through the door so be it… as long as we get the players rafa wants ie a decent forward would be a good start … anyway i think we will find out in the next week or so

  • Jib

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #10

    Matt Ritchie’s dad Alex , was born in Edinburgh ,
    but joined the RN before Matt was born (in Gosport)

    Until selected by Gordon Strachan
    Ritchie had never set foot in Scotland

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #11

    Going after Kenedy is no secret, so there will be legs to that one. As for Ritchie out, I’ll wait for confirmation – ditto Townsend in. Turns out the swap deal with Bournemouth was total fabrication so although there might be something in it…
    If there is we simply have to trust Rafa’s judgement on these issues. He knows the composition of the team he’s building, we don’t.
    For a good chunk of last season Ritchie was anonymous. He left Yedders on his own marking two players so many times and it cost us goals. That was washed aside by a tremendous finish to the season when he returned to form at the right time, but it won’t have gone unnoticed by Rafa.
    He works hard most of the time but his lack of pace will be a contributing factor as to whether Rafa wants to keep him for another season imo. A lot may depend on who he brings in up front. As much as I’d like to retain Ritchie I can see reasons why Rafa might decide to cash in on him. He doesn’t do sentimentality and if he has a plan – which he invariably does – he’s renowned for his ruthless streak when offloading players.

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #12

    Jail / Jib – must have been thinking of someone else. Ian Cathro maybe?


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