Rafael Benitez has made a surprise admission regarding midfielder’s first team chances


Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has made a surprise claim that midfielder Cheick Tiote could yet play his way back into the Magpies’ starting lineup this season.

Following Newcastle United’s relegation into the Championship, it was widely expected that midfielder Cheick Tiote would be one of the many players leaving St. James’ Park over the summer.

While many did depart Newcastle, Tiote surprisingly had to stay put after his move to Turkish side Galatasaray collapsed at the last minute due to a failed medical.

Tiote is still hopeful of earning a move away from St. James’ Park in the coming weeks and he is able to sign for teams in Qatar as their transfer window remains open till October 20th.

Manager Rafael Benitez is aware of the fact that Tiote is keen on leaving Newcastle but has surprisingly stated that he would welcome back the Ivory Coast international into first team contention with open arms as he has been left impressed with the midfielder’s attitude in training.

The Spaniard told the Chronicle, “Cheick will not be involved in this game, but I am pleased with him. He knows this is still a time where we are waiting a little bit to see what happens.

“He has been training well, but we haven’t thought about him for this game. He will get a chance if nothing happens in the next few days and weeks.

“If nothing happens, we will have to do something with him because he is someone I like. If we have some information that clubs are interested, we will analyse that. If not, he is a player that can give us experience.”