Rafa Benitez identified West Brom’s Craig Dawson, Palace’s Andros Townsend and West Brom’s Salomon Rondon as three of his ‘priority’ transfer targets over the summer according to The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas.
Speaking during a Q&A today, the NUFC writer confirmed that Benitez was keen to sign ‘Premier League experience’ over the summer and wanted all three to sign – however he only ended up with one in Rondon (and that was a loan that took months to complete).
Here’s what he’s had to say when asked “Which players did Rafa miss out on?” during The Chronicles latest Q&A session:
“Well there’s been a few but this summer – specifically – three of the priority targets as Benitez wanted Premier League experience were Craig Dawson (West Brom), Andros Townsend (Palace) and Rondon.
“He got one – eventually…”
Our interest in Townsend was quite clear over the summer (although it seemed to rely on Ritchie leaving for ‘financial reasons) and Dawson was also mentioned – but not as a ‘priority’ target.
Douglas then also mentioned Alassane Plea and Willian Jose as overseas targets, but suggests Rafa was actually happy with Rondon in the end – someone who was mentioned as one of his top striker targets all summer long:
“Overseas we all know about Alassane Plea, who didn’t end up coming.
“I understand Willian Jose was one of those ‘discussed’. But a deal didn’t happen for whatever reason – and Benitez really believed Rondon would be they key to making United tick.”
I can’t lie, I would’ve happily seen Townsend sign – and Plea or Willian Jose would’ve most probably been more prolific than Rondon – however I can’t say I’m too fussed that we missed out on Dawson.
He wouldn’t have been THAT cheap and is no better than Fernandez.