Rafa Benitez has warned Mike Ashley that he must deliver the goods over the final few weeks of the transfer window, admitting that we may be left ‘trying to avoid relegation’ again next season if we do not strengthen our squad.
There hasn’t actually been a great deal of transfer activity across the Premier League so far this summer, with the World Cup playing a big part, however we can almost certainly expect a sudden surge of activity between now and August 9th.
With just £4m spent and no striker signed as of yet, Benitez clearly needs us to start picking up the pace – and he’s made it pretty clear to Mike Ashley just why we need to strengthen.
Here’s what he’s had to say about our situation heading into the new season, suggesting that we’re in danger of being left behind by our Premier League rivals if we don’t start spending:
“What does it mean to compete? If we are strong enough to compete in the table to finish in the middle of the table or higher – but if we aren’t strong enough we will try to avoid relegation because every single team is spending some money.
“You hear some people saying: ‘Oh this team or that team hasn’t signed anybody yet either’ – But they have squads that are already strong anyway.
“We know what we need to do and we must try.”
Benitez then admitted that the transfer window ‘couldn’t be more difficult’ (suggesting that our struggles aren’t just down to Mike Ashley’s incompetence), however he insists that we must pass the ‘test’ this summer in order to be stronger again for the new season.
“It’s a real test. It couldn’t be more difficult.
“But it is what we have and we have to be ready and prepare the team.
“If we can improve a little bit on some things we can try to be stronger for next year.”
A timely reminder from Rafa that we must start signing before it’s too late. We can’t have a repeat of last summer, with bargain basement buys on the final few days of the window being something we must avoid.
This is your warning Mike – time to take action.