Benitez wants a centre back – 5 players NUFC could turn to this summer

The Chronicle have reported today that Rafa Benitez will make the signing of a centre-back (or two) one of his main priorities this summer, as he looks to build a squad capable of competing in the Premier League.

Ciaran Clark’s place in this NUFC side looks nailed on, but aside from the Irishman there are doubts over each of our remaining centre-halves.

Jamaal Lascelles’ potential must be nurtured next season, whilst Rafa appears to have trust issues over Chancel Mbemba. Grant Hanley has done a job in the Championship, but I imagine he will be moved on this summer, with the pace of the Premier League likely to see him out of his depth.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why Benitez is prioritising a centre-back this summer.

Here’s 5 players who could be available this summer that NUFC would be wise to look at:

1.Harry Maguire

A player we’ve been credited with an interest in & one who could be available this summer – especially if Hull go down.

He’s a big unit but is surprisingly capable & confident on the ball. He looks to be a real leader and has been key to Hull’s revival under Marco Silva.

Would be a great buy & one I hope we pursue.

2. Nathan Ake

Will be seeking a move this summer if he isn’t guaranteed first team opportunities at Chelsea.

At 5ft 11 he isn’t an imposing centre-half, but what he lacks in brawn he makes up for in talent. He’s athletic, reads the game well and has superb technical ability.

An ambitious suggestion but a star in the making with huge potential.


3. Ben Gibson

Looks set to leave Middlesborough should they be relegated.

He’s tough in the tackle, wins his battles and is comfortable with the ball at his feet. At 24 he looks to have the makings of a very good CB.

He’s been linked with the big boys but could be tempted to remain in the North-East should Rafa come calling.


4. Kurt Zouma

Another ambitious one, but a player Chelsea are set to loan out next season according to reports.

A mountain of a man and centre-back who’s progress was halted after he suffered a horrific knee injury last year.

He’s a player with big potential and one NUFC had showed an interest in during his time with St Etienne.

Worth a shot given Rafa’s Chelsea links & Zouma’s hunt  for first team football.


5.Pontus Jansson

With Leeds facing another year in the Championship after missing out on the play-offs, Jansson could be looking for a Premier League move.

The 6ft 4 Swede has been outstanding for Leeds this season, helping Gary Monk’s side to 15 clean sheets.

He was superb in Leeds’ 1-1 draw at St. James’ last month and looks to be commanding in the air, a tough tackler and a real character who could thrive on a move to Tyneside.


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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

85 thoughts on “Benitez wants a centre back – 5 players NUFC could turn to this summer

  1. 1. Champion or not depends on Seagull’s performance, not us. Either way I hope Sunday’s last match in this league will be a good memory.
    2. $70m cash plus proceeds from selling players will definitely make Rafa stay, I think. I just hope the rumour is true.
    3. Rafa’s target for Toon next season, my humble opinion is top 4. We won’t have any cup competitions next season, just like Liverpool this season. Rafa definitely will take this chance to push for a top 4 spot, where the club will have more income and Rafa can get more funding.
    4. if Rafa stays and controls transfers, we don’t need speculation, as normally he is very quick of bringing in people, just like what he did last summer. Then he will have some time to train the newcomers together, preparing for the next season.
    5. Look forward to next season if Rafa stays!


  2. Funrafa: have you looked at the PL table? There has become a massive divide between the top 7 and the rest. We can realistically shoot for 8th. Here are some fun facts:

    1. Everton are 7th on 58 points, then there is a gap of 14 points to 8th.

    2. Everton have a Goal Difference of +20 and the teams above are better.

    3. All teams 8th and below have a negative goal difference and the current 8th placed team only has 44 points.

    What this means of course is the top 7 are beating up on the remaining 13 teams who are having to scrap it out for the scraps. This will not change with Man U, Citeh, and Arsenal having 200 million pound budgets and Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea already having good squads and probably 100 million plus to spend.

    To buy any of those squads we would need a MINIMUM of 500 million.

    If Rafa gets us to 8th that will be a miracle. Maybe we could bump Everton, maybe. What we can hope for is a Cup because in recent memory we have seen sh!t teams like Wigan do it.


  3. And Leicester was truly a miracle last year which I doubt will happen again in our lifetimes unless there is the second coming of Brian Clough.


  4. Oh, I forgot. We do not have a single player on our books that would get in any of the top 6 first 11s. That includes Arsenal who I think have a lot of holes in their squad.


  5. I might have gone over the top on squad valuations. Everton are probably at 250- 300 million or so because they have Lukaku. The others would be valued higher. But you see what I am saying, right. Even if Rafa gets 100 million he would have to be both astute and lucky in the transfer market to build contender for top 6.


  6. Here are some other hurdles, which are not insurmountable, but makes it hard to comepete even with the best of the rest:

    1. West Ham have been gifted a 700 million pound stadium by the tax payer. That gives them a massive advantage if their owners had a clue except about stealing and porn. Spurs are paying 800 million for their stadium, which is 12 Paul Pogbas or Gareth Bales.

    2. Southampton have the best academy in the country that seems to churn out good players year after year. Remember where a certain Alan Shearer started.

    3. Yank investors last year paid 100 million for one third of Crystal Palace. That values them at about what Ashley put into NUFC.


  7. shamrock:
    Top 4? Isa fishing attempt?

    Sham: I don’t think he was fishing, but I had some fun facts about the PL that I wanted to get out there just so people know how big of a job Rafa has on his hands 🙂


  8. Hi Sham, Eric, it was just my guess. I have been following Rafa several years, kind of know him a little bit. I know it also depends on how much funding he will get, but I know he will aim for top 4. Don’t under-estimate his ambition. He does not want to waste any time. If he moves to West Ham, he will aim for top 4 as well, why would he lower his standard at Toon? He does not need a star team. He will make a star team. Anyway, you don’t have to believe me. Let’s just wait and see. First of all, he needs to stay.


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