Antonio Barreca joined Newcastle United on the winter transfer deadline day for a loan fee of around £1M from AS Monaco.
Initially, the loan seemed like a savvy decision. And let’s face it, any ins at Newcastle is a treat for the fans. Particularly in January.
Barreca was brought in to strengthen the weak left–back position that had been a glaring problem for Rafa’s team.
Paul Dummett had spent much of the campaign in and out of the squad with injuries and the squad had no natural left-back cover in its ranks.
In part to combat this issue, Rafa went to a back 3 around the time of Dummett’s injury playing for Wales.
This turned out to be a stroke of genius for the boss as the team was not short on central defenders and began to turn their season around.
The arrival of a player known as an offensive threat down the left who could whip in crosses for Rondon and play his part defensively seemed a big plus.
But it turned out that he has only played 4 minutes for the Magpies and that was in the closing minutes of the 1-0 away defeat to Spurs.
With the season ending on Sunday, he will likely not even make the bench.
Antonio Barreca – played only 4 minutes
If we take a closer look at all the elements around this loan, it really is not a big surprise that he has failed to make the grade at Newcastle.
Antonio had only played seven league games for a woefully underperforming Monaco side who have only in recent months managed to escape the relegation zone.
This lack of match time is the reason he was up for the loan to begin with.
Barreca was always going to take time to adjust to not only the Premier League but to Rafa’s standards.
If we also consider that Paul Dummett was close to returning from injury and that Matt Ritchie made the left wingback position his, it really isn’t a surprise that Antonio Barreca’s loan spell at Newcastle was such a disappointment.