According to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, Mike Ashley has a ‘lack of trust’ in Rafa Benitez when it comes to signing players, believing several of his buys were not ‘success stories’.
Quite incredibly, it’s also claimed that Rafa gets ‘pointed back to a Lazaar or a Hanley’ when the Spaniard makes a request to sign a certain player – almost suggesting as though the board know better than the Champions League winning manager when it comes to capable footballers.
Speaking on the Chronicle’s latest podcast this week, here’s what Lee Ryder had to say about the issues between Benitez and Ashley when it comes to buying new players:
“It’s very complicated – I think there is a lack of trust on both sides.
“Rafa feels he has been let down in the last four windows, but from what I understand Ashley feels that not all of the signings that were made were success stories.
“Whenever Rafa points to a player who he wants, he gets pointed back to a Lazaar or a Hanley.”
It’s easy for Ashley to point to the mistakes, but for every Lazaar or Hanley there’s been several success stories.
Just look at Rondon and Fernandez. They were two ageing players Benitez clearly had to persuade the board to sign over the summer, yet both have had terrific seasons so far – with it looking like a big mistake that we only signed Rondon on loan after refusing to pay his £16m release clause.
Not backing Benitez is one thing, but having a businessman question his footballing nous is a step too far.
With loan bids going in for Gelson Marins and Antonio Barreca reported over the past 24 hours, it makes you wonder if Ashley’s lack of ‘faith’ in Rafa is one reason he’s refusing to sanction permanent deals on long-term contracts. Ridiculous.