After a struggling start to life at St James’ Park, Jacob Murphy has admitted that Rafa Benitez has always planned to ‘break him in slow’ – planning to chuck him in at the deep end as soon as he’s ‘ready’.
The England U-21 has been our most expensive arrival since promotion was secured back to the Premier League last summer (£10m from Norwich), however he’s yet to show what he’s capable of in a black and white shirt.
He’s failed to find himself a regular run in Rafa’s side – and missed out on the matchday squad entirely on Saturday – but he’s admitted that he and the manager have a plan to break him in gently – with still learning about his defensive responsibilities and ‘attacking movement’ off the ball:
“The manager (Rafa Benitez) wants to break me in slow, and when he feels I’m ready, he’ll chuck me in,”
“I trust the manager on that.
“He gives me lots to learn. Defensive work, mainly, but also attacking movement off the ball.”
“It’s about using that experience and building a better season this time.”
The 23-year old has put a positive spin on the last 12 months, feeling it was a ‘building block’ more than it was frustrating – with this opportunity to play for his boyhood club still making him smile to this day:
“Looking back, I don’t see it as frustrating- it was a building block, learning about the league and about my team mates.
“I still remind myself of how big the club is,”
“I look down on the shirt and see the crest, and it makes me smile.”
I love this. He seems like a very grounded young lad and someone who’s genuinely so proud and grateful to play for Newcastle United.
Hopefully he can keep learning, keep smiling and start showing us what he’s really capable of doing before long.
For now, he’ll be hoping to make the squad on Saturday – with twin brother Josh Murphy set to be in Cardiff’s starting 11 for their first home game back in the Premier League.
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