Following confirmation of Christian Atsu’s arrival at NUFC yesterday, the Chronicle have stated that Benitez is targeting between 7-12 signings, suggesting this is only the start of an ‘extremely busy’ summer for the club.
The Chronicle have recently suggested that Benitez is looking for 5 or 6 ‘first team ready’ players, with a centre-back, left-back, central midfielder, left winger and striker set to be targeted.
Targeting players in the above areas is to be expected, with it widely accepted that the team requires an influx of quality to cope with the Premier League step up, however I find it interesting to read that Benitez could want up to 12 players this summer.
Such a number of incomings would only work if Benitez cashed in on several players, with a dozen new signings not only likely to stretch beyond his transfer kitty, but cause strain on the wage bill and an overcrowded squad.
Squad players such as Hanley, Lazaar and Sels look all set to be moved on, but to create room in his squad and first-team line up, we may just Benitez cash in on some surprise names this summer? The untrusted Mitrovic and Mbemba? The underwhelming Diame and Colback or even cashing in on returning loan players such as De Jong and Krul.
With 7 to 12 players likely to arrive this summer and a considerable re-build needed, don’t be surprised to see Benitez make some bold moves to re-shape his squad this summer.