With both Ki AND Muto at risk of missing over a month of action following call ups to the Asian Cup, the need to sign players early in the January transfer window has never been greater for Rafa Benitez.
It was always going to be a big window for Benitez, but Muto’s unexpected call up alongside Ki’s expected absence make it absolutely vital that he’s allowed to bring in players as early as possible next month.
Recent reports have reckon Rafa wants full back cover , a new number 10 , a central midfielder and a striker, but the latter two positions may now become a priority considering a lack of depth once Ki and Muto leave for the Asia Cup.
In central midfield we are already quite light , Shelvey is injured, Hayden out of sorts and Diame isn’t getting any younger, leaving us with Longstaff which is a lot to ask a youngster who hasn’t featured in the Premier League before. Up front we only have Rondon and Joselu, and an injury to the former would leave us in a mess given he’s played a part in 5 of our last 7 league goals.
It’s hard to see Ashley spending money IF takeover talks are ongoing. He is a reluctant spender at the best of times, but we surely need to bulk up our squad in order to fight off fears of a relegation battle – something which would hit his pocket more than anyone else.