Rafa Benitez believes you have to spend ‘£40-75m’ to get real quality in the ‘final third’ – a subtle hint that Mike Ashley will have to spend big if we’re going to compete with the league’s big six again.
This comes after Monday night’s defeat to Arsenal, with the Gunners totally out-classing us in the final third in a game where we barely mustered a single shot on target.
Here what the gaffer had to say after the game, suggesting we’ll have to spend big bucks if we plan to compete with the top six in attacking areas:
“The final third we have been speaking all season… the final third you have to spend £40m, £50m, £75m,”
I’m not expecting Ashley to spend huge money anytime soon, but Rafa isn’t wrong – £15-20m signings get you unproven talents in this day and age, with you now looking at paying double that if you want to secure a top class attacking player.
There’s been talk of a £40m move for Brazilian forward Joelinton, but I struggle to see Ashley paying that sort of money; no matter how much the Chronicle claim such a big money deal is being discussed ‘behind the scenes’.
Regarding Rafa’s future, here’s what he’s had to say since Monday night’s game, stating ‘nothing has changed’ – and suggesting nothing will until our Premier League status is secured:
“People can talk about things, and that’s normal in football,” he said.
“Players, managers, whatever. The only thing I can do now is try to do the job properly and stay in the Premier League.
“Nothing has changed. We’re exactly the same as we were some days ago. We’re in the same position, the same situation. I’m just trying to concentrate on Crystal Palace on Saturday.”
It’s going to be a huge summer for the club – whether Rafa stays or not – but first we must focus on getting three points on Saturday.
Do that and we’ll be all but safe, and maybe then Benitez will be happy to enter crunch talks over a new contract.