Aug 31, 2017
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Newcastle sign nobody on deadline day – could this affect Rafa Benitez’s future?

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Newcastle United have failed to add to their squad on transfer deadline day so far and that is unlikely to change. Rafa Benitez had been keep to sign players on Thursday, but for one reason or another, reinforcements didn’t arrive. The Chronicle report that he won’t dwell on the window once it closes, despite wanting to sign another four players to strengthen his squad. However, it is difficult for supporters to believe he will remain at the club as he has been open about his unhappiness during this summer.

The Guardian reported the following quotes from Benitez earlier this month:

“He knows what he told me and what I was thinking. We have to manage a situation that’s not ideal. When you have what you have and you have missed what you’ve missed out on you can try to improve. But it cannot be ideal. It depends on the players we can move out. There is some interest in some of our players – [such as Jack Colback, Grant Hanley, Tim Krul and Aleksandar Mitrovic] – but clubs are offering less money than we want.”

The message was clear at that stage. Newcastle had to move players on before they could bring in reinforcements. Since those quotes, the club have seen Siem De Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and Grant Hanley leave. Meanwhile, Achraf Lazaar and Tim Krul are expected to complete moves away from St James’ Park before the deadline. That is a significant chunk off the wage bill, but still, no players were brought in.

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What will this window mean for Benitez?

It is unlikely that the Spaniard will walk out of the club during the next few days. He is an honourable man who is loyal to the supporters and the playing squad. There were some players that came to Newcastle this summer because of Rafa Benitez. He won’t want to abandon them at this stage. In the short-term, he will stick it out and do his best with what he has for the rest of the campaign.

However, this window will have done damage, especially when it comes to the trust between Benitez and the board. Those relationships will now be non-existent as they have continually broken promises made to the Spaniard. Mike Ashley is unambitious and it always looked unlikely that he and Benitez would be a seamless marriage. They are completely different characters and it looks like one of them will have to leave the club in the near future.

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If another Premier League club comes in for Benitez, he would consider a move as it looks unlikely that he will be able to grow Newcastle in the way that he wants to. Unless there is a surprise takeover of the club, the Spaniard’s days at the club look numbered.

What would this mean for the future of the club?

Mike Ashley might not see it, but it would be a disaster to lose Rafa Benitez. If he leaves, they would lose the supporters. It would be one of the worst days in the club’s history if the Spaniard walks out. He is the only reason they are back in the Premier League and he has managed to do so much in such a small amount of time. In years ahead, this summer will be looked back upon as a huge opportunity missed and it could be a costly mistake by the board.

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Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.