Grant Hanley’s protracted move to Newcastle was completed today. The Scottish international joined from Blackburn Rovers, with the fee believed to be £5.5m.
It’s been a long drawn out affair with Rovers holding out to get the maximum fee they could, similar to the way we toyed with Liverpool.
Speaking to the official website, Rafa Benitez said:
“I am very pleased to bring Grant Hanley to our project to add his hard work and potential to our squad.
“It was clear that we needed another central defender and we were seeking someone with good experience in the Championship.
“Grant is a young player with a lot of ambition to improve and keep growing with us. He is also a strong defender, fast and with personality, a player that surely will increase competitiveness in his position.”
Hanley dropped in a football cliche or two when he described his joy at signing:
“I’m over the moon and delighted to be here”
It was, it seems, an offer that he couldn’t refuse. And no horse’s heads needed to be left in beds to agree terms either…
Hanley’s arrival would seem to signal that Rafa is happy with the centre of his defence now. With four centre backs, three of whom are experienced at this level, we should be in good shape for the coming season.
The question now is whether Benitez wants to strengthen the left side of the defence. Rico Henry, Walsall’s full back, has been previously linked with us, as has Leeds United’s Charlie Taylor.