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Rafa Points To Some Great Transfer Business By Newcastle

Rafa Benitez has shed some light on how Mikel Merino was able to force a move away from Newcastle this summer.

Rafa said the player and his agents demanded a release clause in his contract in case he was not getting the playing time he wanted at Newcastle he could move on.

Mikel is anxious to keep playing so he can improve his game but we are sorry to see the lad leave to join Real Sociedad – although that deal has not yet been announced.

Mikel Merino – in action for Newcastle last season

Rafa knew Mikel was going to leave, so he lined up free agent Ki Sung-yueng as a replacement – a great move by the club.

This is what Benitez said in the Chronicle today of Merino’s departure:

“It was a pity because obviously, he wanted to play more football.”

“He is a young player and he struggled to get back into the team because Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey were doing so well,”

“That meant Merino didn’t get much game time, then we had three or four Spanish clubs who were interested in him.”

“In the end it was something we couldn’t control because he decided to go. We knew that could happen, so we had to be prepared – and in the end we were.”

Rafa and Newcastle were prepared because on July 1st we signed Ki Sung-yueng who is the replacement for Mikel and has already played at Swansea with Shelvey and they made an excellent partnership in central midfield.

But Ki will have to play well to break into the starting line-up with Mo Diame in such terrific form for us this year – he looks a player reborn under Rafa Benitez

Benitez continued talking about Ki:

“He will bring experience. He has experience in the Premier League, he has quality. “

“Mikel was a young player with great potential, but now we have a player who has been there before,” 

“When we first signed Mikel, people forget that the reason we got him from Borussia Dortmund was because he had this condition too.”

“He had a release clause which he could use if he was not playing as much as he wanted.”

“In this case we did that, he was playing really well for us, and I was really pleased with him at the beginning of the season.”

“After he had the injury, when he went two months without playing, he played less, and after that Jonjo and Diame did really well.”

“But that is football – and we move on.”

We move on indeed, and that’s one of the many strong characteristics we’ve noticed about Rafa – he doesn’t dwell on things.

Mikel wanted to leave and there’s not much anybody can do if the lad didn’t want to be at Newcastle – for whatever reason.

Wonder what’s going on with Kenedy?

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #1

    Not much jealousy towards England this morning is there 🙄

  • Tsunki

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #2

    Jesper you child answer the questions, it’s easy, stop with the playground name-calling and daft accusations and just answer the questions!

    Who is responsible for the bad purchases?
    What should be done about that person?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #3

    I’ll spare the repost

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #4

    He can’t answer you, he said Rafa should get Slimani back, why won’t he answer the question when asked why on earth he would?

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #5

    Journal story this morning is they don’t know but speculate that Kenedy could be a permanent signing…depending on – if Rafa stays for the long term.

    England a poster commented that we looked like a Sam Allerdyce team second half – too true – we looked a disjointed mess with no midfield hold onto 1-0 hooooooof it long and when they scored there was no plan B.

    Sorry Southgate/Allerdyce – plan x went out the window last night

  • Tsunki

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #6

    It’s a funny thing but as far as every English person I know understands it, when and if it a team from the UK or its environs gets into a competition, unless they face us we generally root for them. If we don’t qualify and they do (which has happened) then it’s usually the form to root for Scotland, Wales yes even the Irish lol, No animosity at all.

    However it’s distinctly evident this is not reciprocal, and Munsters gleeful post about his Argentinian friend actually texting him in celebration demonstrates an underlying animosity that the “home” nations show toward England. I was in Scotland the day we beat Germany 5-1. When we were 1-0 down and a beating was on the cards, the Scots in the bar and around the area were besides themselves with joy. By the time we won there was genuine apoplectic rage at the result.

    Shame really as this changed my mind about being even handed and magnanimous towards our conjoined cousins. I’m glad they’re crap, long may it continue ha ha 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Jail it’s a simple question and he is trying to swerve it with stuff about se

  • Tsunki

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #8

    Jail it’s a simple question and he is trying to swerve it with stuff about sexism and who knows what guff just to cloud the fact he darent actually state his agenda behind the complaints, which i suspect is that he holds Benitez entirely responsible for rash purchases of bad players, mismanagement of resources and that he should be replaced.

    But I doubt his other half will hand him his clangers back to answer it. 😀 oops sorry that was a bit clangerist. 🙂

  • RobLeenio

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #9

    Charlie, I think it was great game management by the Croats. Lets give them credit, they played well and played hard and broke up our game. The squad will have learned from this experience and the next tournament won’t find them as naive. It will also see different players in certain positions. Young, Walker and Henderson look suspect for me.

    The FA set a target of 2022 to win a major championship so this was a good rehearsal for the next Euros in two years and the 2022 World Cup.

  • Tsunki

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #10

    Just read your well – stated post Jail but it seems jesper has garnered at least 5 Numbnut College graduates to “heart” his complaining nonsense. It seems quite a few folk are easily blindsided by his stamping and wailing antics without actually considering if he has a point.

  • BenbulbenMag

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #11

    Gentlemen and Ladies (and those who do not wish to have their gender predicated by preconceived stereotypes)

    As a proud Irishman I have no difficulty in saying that I was rooting for England to do well (and many fellow Irish men and women) and I believe you can all be proud of your team. They are players that I see week in and week out and I genuinely hoped/wanted the best for them.

    Yes there are some players like Sterling and Alli that get up my nose but thats because of the type of characters they are not because they’re English.

    I think though that many people started to move away from supporting them due to the whole ridiculous “football is coming home” for fuc$s sake the chinese can make a decent claim for being the “home” or origin of football.

    I can understand why people started to get excited though as times are very tough in the UK at the moment and Sport is a fantastic way of uniting people and forgetting about other troubles for a short while.

    England went into the World Cup hoping to gain experience. They leave now after giving you all a tremendous journey. Yes it’s disappointing that they could and should have reached the final, but they’ll be all the more mentally resilient for these experiences.

    Try to hold on to that feel good factor for as long as you can.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #12

    We have nowt in midfield yes good players – a workmanlike team – but no World class players – as I posted a couple of weeks ago if we had GAZZA in his prime pulling the strings and maybe a Beardsley type player we could of went all the way.

    Also thought Southgate went negative by bringing Sterling off – yes he was not brilliant but scared the pants off Croatia by his speed – Vardy may of done the same if brought on early.

    southgate tends to stick by his first eleven and plan A but does not have a plan B as of yet.

    We are just lacking a WORLD CLASS player or two

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #13

    Normally when it comes to England I have my blinkers on. This time, because I don’t like Southgate I could view it with a better balance.
    Croatia negated our midfield completely and cut out the left flank wingback, leaving us knackered.
    The result was aimless hoofs looking for Kane, who had inexplicably moved into midfield and received none of them.
    When it came to it, like it or not, Southgate was found out massively. He couldn’t change it because all his players fit in perfectly with Plan A and he hadn’t even thought of a Plan B.
    All those great attacking players and nobody to find them.
    Hopefully now the cup is over people will remove their blinkers and realise Southgate is very limited. We only played two decent teams and lost to both.
    Let’s hope he learned a lot from this or the future will be the same.


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