Rafa Benitez has reacted to the signing of Antonio Barreca, stating Italian has ‘quality, good delivery and is good going forward’ – suggesting he could be the sort of attacking left-back he’s looking for.
The 23-year-old completed his loan move from Monaco – with an option to buy for £9m – in the last few moments, and Rafa has already had his say on the deal.
Here’s what he’s told NUFC.co.uk about the Italian left-back:
“The left-back/left-wing-back position is one we’ve been looking to strengthen for a while and he’s an Italy under-21 international who we know has quality, good delivery and is good going forward.
“He has the attributes, he has the quality and he has the characteristics that we look for.
“Now we must see how quickly he can adapt, but we will try to help him and if he can give us more competition in this area, and more quality in the final third with his deliveries, the only thing I can see is a positive.”
As we all know, Rafa has had a criminal lack of options when it’s come to left-backs over the past few years, with Paul Dummett being the only player in our senior squad able to ‘naturally’ play in that position.
Not only that, it’s clear that we’ve lacked a wing-back who’s able to give us an attacking outlet down our left-hand side, with Ritchie having been forced to play in this role when we’ve opted to go with 5 at the back in recent month.
Here’s Barreca in action: