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Class Player Delivers Some Good News For Rafa Benitez

Ki Sung-yueng returned injured from the Asian Cup.

The hamstring injury is said to be only slight and he could be ready to play in about a week.

But Ki has also decided to retire from International football at the age of  30 which he reached just over a week ago.

He was the South Korean captain for three years through the World Cup in Russia last year and talked about possibly retiring after that competition.

He played 110 times for his country with 10 goals.

He signed a two-year contract Newcastle last summer and before he left for the World Cup in late December he was in good form for Newcastle.

Ki Sung-yueng has retired from International football.

He will now want to concentrate on his club career and hope to get a contract extension may be in the summer if he continues to star for Newcastle.

This is what Ki has said:

“I’m going to lay down the huge honor and big responsibility of being part of the national team,”

“The 2019 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup was my last appearance to represent Korea.”

“Throughout my career, it was more valuable than anything.”

“I want to express my deep gratitude to the fans, who have supported me over the years.”

“I hope for the best for the Korean football team – but now I’d like to focus on Newcastle United.”

Rafa will be pleased with this news as he became one of the manager’s most trusted players by the end of last year.

Ki is a class act.

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94 comments so far

  • Mag52

    Feb 1, 2019 at 7:31 AM

    Comment #1


  • Mag52

    Feb 1, 2019 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #2

    Pity we couldn’t have got Almiron at the beginning rather than at the end of the window, but apart from that, not too bad a window.

  • Mag52

    Feb 1, 2019 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #4

    The two signings don’t let Ashley off the hook.
    A net zero outlay over the last two windows in the season we were to have kicked off following our tenth place finish last season, for the nineteenth richest club in the world, is nothing to write home about.
    Ashley Out.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #5

    I’ve been catching up with the Almiron Box Set on W.I.S.E. TV – bit of a patchy series, overly romantic at times and the action scenes seem to have been cheesily done and suspiciously speeders up ha ha but what you can discern is he has a good touch, whether as a reasonable eye for a cross or a placed shot. He runs with his head down and over the ball and seems to keep the ball very close in front of him at all times with lots of tiny pushes – he might find it difficult to get going as he won’t have the room in this league but I have a feeling early doors we are going to get a lot of free kicks and maybe a few penalties out of him. His head down style makes for good accuracy and keeping the ball nice and low which can only be a good thing. I think DMs are going to find this lad a handful and I reckon he could work with Shelvey or Ki just as well, but in different parts of the pitch.

  • lesh

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #6


    Why has the Daily Mail’s reported what was a story published in 2014/ 15? Have I missed something in it? Given the time of day, my eyes haven’t properly focused yet!

    I know the Mail changed editors (Dacre out) some months ago but I’m surprised to see that story.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #7

    I forgot to add he’s the kind of player who will draw more than one player to him just about every time he gets the ball so I’m looking forward to the pressure coming off our wingers, more space for perez and rondon up front and a bit more time to think for our defenders.

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #8

    Your is a FIFA player comment

    Although our net spend was low in the Summer
    we did some good business and strengthened
    the squad quite noticeably from that which finished 10th
    The squad has been strengthened again

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #9

    Non EU citizens cannot get work permits
    unless they can be shown to have a skill
    unable to be found in Europe.
    Footy players with caps for their country
    come into this category.
    They are granted an EU blue card
    UK have opted out of the blue card scheme
    Paris is the closest capital to London
    that issues blue cards

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #10

    Daily Mail Editor
    “Hey here’s a story about an Eastern European
    teenaged unmarried mother having a bairn in
    the bogs at Shirebrook in 2014.
    When’s a good time to print that ?
    I know
    Ashley will probably stiff the Toon fans over
    incomings let’s print on the last day of the
    transfer window.
    I’m wasted as a newspaper editor I should be in PR me”

  • martoon

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #11

    Cheers Jib – I knew about being an International but not the blue card scheme. So when he gets a blue card can he then play?

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #12

    walked in and got his straight away

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #13

    I think that Miggy is a player that Rafa can
    see himself building a side around – if that is
    the case it will probably take a few windows
    of judicious signings to achieve his optimum

  • Pickup Points Benitez

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #14

    Alan smith grading the transfer window

    Newcastle – A-
    They have had one of the best windows with the timely club-record signing of Miguel Almiron. So Rafa Benitez has been given the funds, but can he now hit the ground running? At least it has given the fans a lift though.

    Your thoughts guys?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #15

    Well I’ve definitely got mixed feelings on the transfer window. Considering in the end we had pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that nobody was coming in we have to be pleased that we’ve finally broken our transfer record and can look forward to seeing an exciting talent making the second half of this season a bit more pleasant to watch. However if anyone thinks this has been done in view of keeping Rafa here long term then I think it’s fallen way short of the mark. The Almiron signing has no bearings on Rafa’s future as, in his words ”he won’t be taking him with him” and we have the possibility of a very valuable player on our hands. The LB can’t have been Rafa’s first choice as if he was that Lukaku wouldn’t have been in the mix and I’ve also strong doubts whether he was first choice given it was the first we heard about it and it was so late in the window. We have also left ourselves woefully short up front which again leaves us vulnerable to having Joselu lead the line for the time Rondon maybe out, it won’t be lost on Rafa that he will again be questioned on why he bought Joselu if this happens. I personally don’t think Ashley wants Rafa anywhere near the club but wants to just see him till the end of the season when he can start afresh with his kamikaze way of doing things with a manager that dedicates the odd big win to him.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 1, 2019 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #16

    Do you honestly think after the way Rafa has been treat since the first summer, that the signing of Almiron will make him rethink his future. Unless there is written assurances on full control of pretty much everything then Rafa will be leaving here with his head held high in June and all those players he bought will get on with their lives under a new manager solaced by the fact they’ve got about 20K each minimum going in to the bank each week.

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #17

    For 18 months there has been a power struggle between
    Ashley and Rafa
    MA has been completely out of his depth and badly advised
    by those around him
    Rafa now totally has the whip-hand
    and I think Ashley knows this and is resigned to it.

  • yorkymag

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #18

    I am not sure that it’s as simple as seeing rondon and the horse as the only up front options now
    I think whist it is only one addition,we now have so much more flexibility,assuming Alimon stays fit and hits the ground running
    Of course it could be rondon or Joselu
    But it could now be alimon as a10 and Perez as a 9 .
    It’s also interesting that Atsu has been used further up and on occasions more centrally
    I could see these three playing as a front 3
    The real benefit is a proper number 10 and as soon as the link between ki ,Longstaff or shelvey
    Is created then the need for long fighting ball’s will be far less
    We are of course still way short in terms of back up but have now a very important new tool in the box

  • Bianconeri

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #19

    The easiest way around Rafa staying,is to sign a 1 year rolling contract. (meerkat smiley emoji)

    Getting a number 10 and left back cover is a positive window for me.
    Bare minimum maybe but still positive.
    Muto to come back,Perez can play striker so we have cover for dad doo Rondon
    I fancy us to beat spurs tomorrow 2-1

  • firebug666

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #20

    According to the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope, Mike Ashley will now ‘prioritise’ securing Rafa Benitez’s future at the club after making late moves to make sure £21m man Miguel Almiron arrived at the club.

    Hope claims Rafa is stalling on a five-year contract proposal, but claims Ashley is now ‘exploring’ the idea of a “three-year offer with the promise of trying to build the club.”
    Ashley won’t get off this lightly, with us still leaving things incredibly late and failing to sign a much needed striker, winger or midfielder, however the Almiron deal has given us a HUGE boost.

    He was Rafa’s top target and the player we’d put so much groundwork in to sign ahead of the January window, so this bring a smile to the face of Rafa Benitez – for now at least.

    Here’s a snippet from Craig Hope’s piece from the Mail:

    ‘Mike Ashley will now prioritise securing Rafa Benitez’s future at Newcastle United after backing the manager by finally breaking the club’s 14-year transfer record.

    ‘Miguel Almiron arrived from Atlanta United on Thursday in a deal worth up to £21million with Benitez having told Ashley he was his No 1 target when the owner took the squad for dinner in October.

    ‘Benitez’s contract expires in the summer and he has so far stalled on the offer of a five-year deal and, more recently, a 12-month extension.

    ‘However, Sportsmail has been told that one option now being explored is a three-year offer with the promise of trying to build the club.

    ‘Crucially, Benitez wants guarantees over investment in the playing squad and improvements made to the training ground.

    ‘Ashley is planning for the future on the assumption he will remain as owner after takeover talks collapsed. It is said any party who now emerges with interest must provide proof of their financial means immediately. The club has not been taken off the market.

    ‘However, Ashley sees the sense in keeping Benitez and is also mindful of how damaging relegation would be, especially as the manager would leave and the value of the club would decrease dramatically. That is why the Almiron deal was sanctioned.


  • lesh

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #21

    Jail @16

    Surely you can tell that Bishop’s reminded Jib what he’s paid to do – spin for Ashley and try not to be a pratt! Judging by this morning’s offerings, Jib’s taken the message but how long he can sustain the charade of not being a pillock’s debatable.

    Anyway, yes, one, one of Rafa’s wish-list signing came in but unsurprisingly things were left until the last minute to ensure failure to get them over the line.

    ‘Getting Limbombe in would have been good but there were reported to be complications with his agent Mogi Bayat’ – well well, surprise surprise!

    Ashley’s reportedly intervened to get Almiron in and no doubt that’ll be a signal for the media (and Jib) to spin that Ashley’s going to make every effort to persuade Rafa to sign up for there more years of lies.

    However, Rafa god Almiron in and we can only hope the lad repays the faith Rafa’s got for him.

    Onwards and upwards, resuming at Wemberly.

  • lesh

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #22

    Whoops, forgot to mention that Jib’s been told to post the odd negative about Ashley, just so his pro posts don’t raise eyebrows.

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #23

    Oh dear

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #24

    I guess if your footy knowledge can
    be written on a postage stamp
    Having a pop at fellow bloggers is the way to go.

  • hibbit

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #25

    Disappointed but not Surprised

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #26

    Anyway onward and upward
    We now have a defence that stands comparison
    with any in the PL

    The creative spark that all fans felt was missing
    has been addressed.

    I wasn’t joking yesterday when I said if Shelvey
    could work on the defensive side of his game
    as a C/D/M with his eye for a pass he could be
    a revelation.

  • hibbit

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #27

    if Ashley really wanted Rafa to stay then a golden opportunity has been missed

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #28

    No it hasn’t

  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #29

    Jib, agreed, quite why a new witness has come forward (to speak to whom and about what?), is beyond me, why wait 5 years?

  • Mag52

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #30

    Jib @8

    ‘Your is a FIFA player comment’. Not sure quite what you mean by this.

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #31

    RIP Jeremy Hardy

  • Jib

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #32

    Your = Yours
    read again

  • hibbit

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #33

    an opportunity MISSED

  • Mag52

    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #34

    Ashley has come through at the eleventh hour in a pretty obvious attempt to pacify the manager.
    He might just have bought himself time, at least until the end of the season.
    Does a manager of Rafa’s standing and ability really need this sort of nonsense every transfer window, when last minute deals for the very minimum of his requirements are done, not for the purpose of achieving ambitious goals for the club, but to keep a pesky manager from walking away and causing an almighty furore amongst the fans ?
    I don’t think so.
    Ashley Out.

  • posada

    Feb 1, 2019 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #35

    Said it a few times now. For one in there must be one out.
    No more then 26 senior pros on serious money.
    LB in LB out.
    Forward in forward out.
    Don’t think he would have allowed Almiron in without Murphy out.
    Sticks rigidly to this.

    In many ways you can see why. You could and indeed a while back we did have about 30 to 32.
    Rafa did not know what to do with them all.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 1, 2019 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #36

    If Ashley wants to speak to Rafa he needs to get rid of the in betweeners ie Bishop et-al and negotiate one to one

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 1, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #37

    The one reason Rafa will definitely sign a new contract of to-be-determined length in the next few weeks?

    Almiron stated Rafa was one of the main reasons he signed. He’s not going to abandon him after just a couple of months.

    I agree Ashley has blinked first and Rafa has won. His behaviour has changed completely over the last week or two. Either that or someone else is holding the reigns, which remains a possibility.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 1, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #38

    I don’t see Barecca as a second choice, his name has been linked with us for at least a couple of weeks. No-one knows why the Jordan Lukaku deal fell through – could it be that with the change in manager at Monaco Barreca suddenly became accessible when he wasn’t previously?

    Henry’s sacking happened within 24 hours of Lukaku’s medical, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

  • Mag52

    Feb 1, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #39


    It wasn’t the ‘your’. It was the ‘FIFA player comment’ that was puzzling me.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 1, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #40

    Check this out on NUFC.com https://www.nufc.com/rumours/2019-01robrum.html

    Barreca linked to us on 21st Jan, Lukaku on 24th Jan. Barreca was Rafa’s 1st choice, I think.


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