In defense, Newcastle did well again last season when we allowed 48 goals in 38 league game but could only score 42 goals.
We are well aware that Rafa is trying to bring in more goalscoring power up front this summer, including keeping Salomon Rondon at the club permanently.
However, with Salomon turning 30 this September Rafa has a difficult task on his hands to persuade Mike Ashley it’s a good deal for the cub.
If we can sign Juan Mata on a free transfer this summer that would be terrific and he would be an excellent and extremely skillful addition to the squad.
But it will again be challenging for Rafa to get him to Newcastle while Ashley still owns the club.
That’s the perennial problem at the club – the owner and his lack of ambition.
Newcastle are well-stocked at center back with five good players vying for those slots, so we don’t need strengthening in that area.
Indeed, Rafa could sell Ciaran Clark this summer for more than the £5M we bought him for three years ago – and the manager may do that.
Ciaran has done a stellar job for the club over three years, but he played a lot less last season.
The weakness is defense is mainly at right back with American DeAndre Yedlin having a so-so season and Paul Dummett again being firm in defense – but we have no cover for him.
It seems that Rafa will want to bring in a more defensively minded player at right back and a more attacking left back than local lad Paul Dummett, who can also play as a central defender.
Those acquisitions would give more balance to the squad and more options for the manager.
Antonio Barreca was a bust on loan and Rafa will allow him to return to Monaco.
Jetro Willems was a top target of ours from 2015, and we are again being linked with the 25-year-old Dutch International.
He has had a difficult two seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga after leaving PSV in 2017.
With the fee for him said to be somewhere around £6M or so – that would be good business for Newcastle, and he would give Rafa another option with Willems able to play left wing-back.
So expect two full backs coming in over the summer.
But unless and until Rafa Benitez is signed up and Mike Ashley shows some urgency and ambition – Rafa will resist signing for Newcastle.
PLease get Rafa Benitez signed up and quickly – why do Newcastle always move at a snail’s pace?
We may even be insulting the snail be saying that.
Comments always welcome.