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The Signing of Ki Could Indicate Changes Coming At Newcastle

Ki Sung-yueng has been brought in by Rafa to replace Mikel Merino who will leave Newcastle soon for Real Sociedad for around £11M.

Mikel grew discontent on Tyneside this year when he couldn’t make the first team with Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey in outstanding form in the middle of the Park for Newcastle.

But that’s getting to be a pattern, with the 21-year-old leaving Borussia Dortmund last summer because he didn’t get enough playing time there either.

Ki in action for Swansea

The signing of Ki is a good one and the South Korean captain is an accomplished and experienced player.

There’s a very good piece on the Premier League website from Adrian Clarke and why Ki could become a key player for Newcastle:

“Rafael Benitez’s preference for a counter-attacking strategy for Newcastle United last season was understandable.”

“Newcastle’s three most impressive victories came in matches where they saw little of the ball.”

“At home they beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea with shares of possession totaling 35.9%, 28.2% and 41.9% respectively.”

“It would ease the load on their defence if they took greater care in possession of the ball.”

“Newcastle’s players too often handed the initiative back to their opponents, sometimes through forcing a forward pass that was not on or by losing the ball cheaply.”

“The signing of Ki Sung-yueng is perhaps an indication of change.”

“”At Swansea City last season Ki boasted a pass accuracy of 88%, with an 83% success rate in the opposition half.”

“These figures were far superior to Benitez’s central midfielders last season.”

“And Ki’s calming presence will give the side added comfort in possession.”

What tells us that Rafa knew all about those stats on Ki before he signed him?

As we said Ki could become a key player for us next season – excuse the pun.

Comments welcome.

108 comments so far

  • jazzyp

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #81


    I agree totally. Are we really trying to say that we cannot afford to buy players again.A player that more than proved his self and in today’s market..20 mill is a snip.Benitez should be getting a minimum spend of 30 mill plus player sales and what is it now over 400 million spent this summer by Pl teams,We have spent 4 million.A loan with a view to make it permanent I would accept,But just to loan again only enhances Kennedy’s value

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #82

    Bring back wor Kuqi! Boom, boom, boom boom boom!

  • Lindisfarne

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #83

    Playing Devils Advocate, what has Ashley done for us?
    Can we all brain storm the good things that have happened in the last 11 years, seriously i am struggling to get more than three points:
    * Sacked Fat Sam (not his appointment).
    * the club has not gone bankrupt (although the debt has increased and nonTV revenue down)
    * opened the door to let Rafa manage
    * painted the training ground and installed a G4 pitch

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #84

    You lads don’t understand Chutney’s new book The Zen of Football Maintenance. Inhale, inhale, inhale and…. window closed… exhale. Beautiful.

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #85

    I insisted they install a G2 pitch. Only 7 euros. And they turned me down. Unbelievable Lindis mate. Harrumph!

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #86

    Kuqi? Not a patch on marlon harewood.

    What’s that, we need defensive reinforcement? What’s Sol up to these days?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #87

    I’m not lying and you know it, you had a determined campaign to show that you knew more than others re Rafa Benitez. You have to come out now and deny how much you were against him now that he’s done the business, you absolutely loved gloating that Brighton were the better team until we finally finished above them, as I said you simply had to give up the nonsense when the only people you had agreeing with you were catchy and beefman, both staunch Ashley apologists as well!

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #88

    You forgot all the happy times with Kinnear and Llambeezee Lindis. Bring top, top talent in. Losing track of our own players on loan and trying to sign them. Humiliating reports of drunken behavior and gross mismanagement. What other club could say the same aboot their owner and executives?

  • c-dog

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #89

    Hope we get one or two who would have the potential to get us up off our seats. That’s certainly not Rondon. Same faces who backed Josiére and very similar comments when talking about what he could bring.

  • Tsunki

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #90

    Yes Belfast it’s ending in acrimony. I agreed Jesper can keep the kids. But I definitely want my “I’m going to step over there now..away..from..you..” crack that’s mine and he knows it. 🙂

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #91

    The deal for Kenedy appears to be a loan to buy next season. Rafa will have done that so he has money to spend elsewhere. It’s ideal for Newcastle.
    You can argue that Ashley’s full of it – we’re aware of that – but if his explanation that we’re still paying for relegation is taken at face value, then a loan to buy when money is more available makes sense. Let’s play devil’s advocate for now.
    Seems to me Rafa is juggling limited funds again and if he can get this deal sorted who cares if it’s a buy or a loan? Does it matter if we pay this season or next, as long as we get him? If it leaves money to buy other players how can it be a bad thing?

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #92

    And don’t forget Peter Lovehandles and Leon Best lads. C’est formidable non?

  • Tsunki

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #93

    Do you think if Kinell was still here he’d be sending out the ravens for Jackie Colback from WiseTV?

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #94

    Actually that makes a lot of sense Bobbybee!

  • Tsunki

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #95

    Anyway we’ve had a long line of stinker strikers going back several years and many managers how Joselu and Slimani are hogging the limelight I’ll never know. Actually i do know. Theres an automated publicity machine keeps mentioning them…

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #96

    Wise old Joe was a complete mystery to me Tsunki. I believe he is still Ashley’s main football advisor in London. What’s that Mike? Hire who? Rafa Benitez? Never ‘eard of ‘im!

  • Tsunki

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #97

    If we end up struggling first half of the season with minimal transfers in and relying on freebies again I doubt even Rafa can keep the feelgood going. And I doubt he could be bothered to do it either.

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #98

    Click… whirrrr! Slimani greatest thing since sliced bread, on the verge of signing to a 10 year deal, followed by Salmon Roundone! Crackle, buzzzz!

  • Tsunki

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #99

    Lindy there were the two wheelie bins we got off gumtree for the cold therapy thing next to the site office / rake shed.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #100

    Jail, Munster may have disagreed with Rafa’s tactics, but he never was nor is an Ashley apologist mate. That’s a bit ott.

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #101

    It’s clear we have a war chest the size of Jayne Mansfield! You lot will be surprises when it finally bursts oot!

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #102

    Or even surprised! I can see the look on your faces now!

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #103

    A couple of 44D’s in the face and I’ll be waiting for your apologies. Harrumph…

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #104

    Jazzyp…but if It’s a loan with an option to buy or obligation to buy then why not buy him now?

    …the money has to be taken from this year’s tv money anyway or anyhow you construct it?

  • L Toon

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #105

    And so it begins..

    Rafa Benitez ‘spinning plates’ for Newcastle United as transfer hunt heads into final 30 days

    Newcastle United have plenty more business to do at St James’ Park – and surprises could be ahead



    Mark Douglas

    14:43, 8 JUL 2018UPDATED14:54, 8 JUL

    Rafa Benitez is spinning plates as Newcastle head towards the final 30 days of the transfer window still to answer all of the big questions of the summer.

    It is a familiar fudge at St James’ Park. 56 days have passed since Rafa Benitez’s men signed off the season with a flourish by beating Chelsea 3-0 in a performance laced with attacking intent and intensity.

    That night Mike Ashley released a statement saying he would do everything he could to keep Benitez at St James’ Park for the long-term. Questions over Benitez’s future loomed large – as they had done since the mid-April defeat of Leicester that prompted the Spaniard to start answering questions again about exactly what it was that he wanted to sign the contract first offered to him at the turn of the year.

    Since then? Virtually nothing. Yes United completed the permanent deal that had been teed up in January for Martin Dubravka – and they moved quickly to secure free agent Ki , who was a replacement for Mikel Merino – the promising Spain under-21 midfielder whose departure has felt like an open secret since he was denied an exit in the January transfer window.

    But the substantive stuff – the game changing signing – does not feel much closer than it did 50 or so days ago.

    Instead United are edging, inch-by-inch towards the next piece of business but hamstrung by many of the issues that have been typical in the Lee Charnley era of transfers.

    An offer for Alassane Plea was – quite simply – not enough. When it comes to Salomon Rondon, Benitez is urging United to take the plunge but is running into resistance as he asks the club to sanction a £16.5million move for a player who is 28 years old.

    One thread of logic is that if Benitez’s contract runs out this summer, the club seem reluctant to agree a move for a player who looks more like a short-term fix. But this is the big issue for Benitez that is preventing him from signing his deal: trust. He has always said that if he is truly going to be allowed to shape the club in the way he wants, he should be allowed to spend his transfer budget how he wants.

    Rondon may not be everyone’s idea of a marquee signing for Newcastle but Benitez likes to bring in players who fit into his way of playing. And if the success of England and Gareth Southgate has taught us nothing this summer it is how the team is more important than any individual. Rondon, to put it bluntly, could ‘do a job’ for United in Benitez’s mind.

    But he doesn’t fit “the profile” – that need for re-sale and for players to look like an investment.

    Compare and contrast with the swiftness that he gets deals for free agents done. Or when he floated the possibility of Sandro Ramirez in transfer meetings last season. £6million for a (then) 21-year-old? ‘Where do I sign’ was the message from Mike Ashley (although it should be noted Benitez agreed with drawing back on that deal when Everton offered him a ridiculous salary).

    So Benitez’s approach is to keep spinning plates. It explains the sudden upsurge of Matt Ritchie sale rumours. The Newcastle manager would ideally like to keep him but if that deal kick starts another deal that can improve United, so be it.

    And there are a lot of enquiries going in at the moment. When Benitez signed up for Instagram on Friday, it didn’t feel like a coincidence that his press man posted pictures of him on his mobile phone in his home office, or that one of the captions said it was a “working holiday” he had enjoyed in Liverpool.

    Some links can now be discounted – Thiago Maia won’t be joining, Juventus’ Stefano Sturaro is also out – but there are likely to be many more before the end of the window.

    Benitez is hitting his old contacts, ringing agents he knows and speaking to club officials too. If there is a player available in the Premier League, Benitez will know about it and it means that for all the frustration and fudge, there is still the possibility of this transfer window ending well for Newcastle.

    Cautious optimism surrounds the deal for Kenedy which the club have talked to Chelsea about. There are other bids in too – although the mood music doesn’t feel great around Plea, the Nice striker who is also attracting interest from Borussia Monchengladbach. His representatives are known to United and seem to be doing all they can to drum up the idea that there is a lot of interest in him.

    It doesn’t usually end well for Newcastle when we get to that point.

    It has been a difficult market for every club in the Premier League, to be fair. None of the 20 are happy with fees, agents costs or the unwillingness of rivals to do business – which feels worrying given there are only 32 days left of a window that they mystifyingly voted to close early.

    What should offer encouragement is that Benitez is open to everything and is absolutely determined to finish the window with a team that’s stronger than the one that beat Chelsea 3-0. The familiar frustrations might have driven him to distraction 12 months ago but this summer there is no hint of that distracting him from making the sort of big decisions he held back from last close season when he reluctantly kept Aleksandar Mitrovic at the club.

    There may be bolder decisions this summer with a host of players possible bargaining chips to get the upgrades he wants. The club have told him things would be easier if he signs his deal but that still seems a long way off, so this third way seems the most likely route.

    With at least four more wanted for the first team and plenty of outgoing business to be done, there’s a lot of work to do. But Benitez is getting on with it.

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #106

    Once the damn bursts we will buy and buy! Everyone will be amazed. I’m betting it will add up to over17 pounds!

  • Munster Mag

    Jul 8, 2018 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #107

    Bobby I didn’t see your reply or else our posts crossed. No need to get so narked about it. You think he is an fa yes man etc and u still support England. I’ve no issue with that. I’d want the same in your boots. At least he’s not Fat Sam.

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 10, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #108



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