According to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, one of Rafa Benitez’s ‘big priorities’ in January is to sign a new right-back – with the Spaniard keen to increase the competition in this area after DeAndre Yedlin’s ‘struggle’ to find his best form so far this season.
Yedlin has certainly been a success at Newcastle since arriving from Tottenham, helping us to gain promotion and has been a mainstay in the side since our return to the Premiership. He would remain a useful squad player but his poor positioning often costs us.
His pace can only make up for so much and technically he isn’t the best either. His speed is a valuable weapon down the right hand side as we saw for Rondon’s opener last weekend , but he should not be nailed on every week and is now clearly the weak link of our back four.
Here’s a snippet from the Chronicle’s latest piece ahead of the January window, with them suggesting that Rafa wants a right-back as well as a striker and attacking midfielder:
The other big priority for Benitez is finding more full-back cover as he looks to increase the competition for Paul Dummett and particularly in the right-back position for DeAndre Yedlin.
The US international has struggled to find his best form this season and with only Javier Manquillo for company in the right-back battle, Benitez is eager to keep his regulars on their toes.
One thing this proves is just how much Rafa mustn’t rate Javier Manquillo – who when called upon, just hasn’t shown Premier League quality. We badly need better squad depth in both full back positions but getting the financial means from Ashley to do it is another thing.
An attacking midfielder is more important arguably, as we already have the 8th best defensive record in the league but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking to find an upgrade on Yedlin too.
With full backs now a key part of the modern game, it’s imperative we strengthen both the quality and depth in our left and right back areas.