Rafa Benitez has suggested today, in an interview with The Shields Gazette, that mistakes have been made in the transfer market during his time at Newcastle United.
Having spent over £50m last summer to build a squad equipped for immediate promotion back to the Premier League, Benitez admits to his errors – being part and parcel of transfer dealings.
Speaking to The Shields Gazette Benitez said:
“When you sign players you make mistakes.
“It’s not like buying a piece of furniture and you say ‘I put that here’ and that is it.
“They have families, they have to be comfortable and in football you can only play 11 players – not the 27 that we have.”
So, just who are the potential ‘mistakes’ Benitez could be referring to here?
Newcastle signed 12 first team players over the summer of 2016, however it’s fair to say a handful of these have struggled to make any major impact in the team since their arrival.
Matz Sels – Signed for £5m, the Belgian has been far from convincing. Costly errors have not only seen him lose his first team spot to Karl Darlow, but the returning Rob Elliot now appears to be second choice on the NUFC bench.
Jesus Gamez – The former Athletico Madrid man may have been signed on a free, but has made just 2 league starts for the club. It really hasn’t worked out for the 31 year-old, whose signing must leave Mike Ashley scratching his head.
Achraf Lazaar – The left-back signed from Palermo is yet to start a league game. A regular across Newcastle’s cup games this season but has in no way threatened Paul Dummett’s place in the starting 11.
Whilst the likes of Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden and DeAndre Yedlin have proven to be superb signings, it’s fair to say a few, up to this point, have proven to be unnecessary.