Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez apparently never even wanted January signing Antonio Barreca.
The Italian joined the club on loan from AS Monaco, but has made just one appearance so far, which lasted for only four minutes against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
He hasn’t been seen since, missing out on the last four matchday squads.
The Sun (via talkSPORT) are claiming that Benitez views Barreca as ‘defensively suspect’, and that he will struggle to get much game time between now and the end of the season.
For now it seems that the Spaniard is happy to call on Matt Ritchie to play out of position as a left wing-back.
Disconnect laid bare
Benitez not wanting Barreca really does suggest a big problem.
The club need to be providing players the manager actually wants and feels can benefit the team.
The situation with Barreca is actually somewhat embarrassing, and a waste of everyone’s time if he isn’t going to be played.
His acquisition did seem like a panic buy after the Jordan Lukaku move fell through, and Mike Ashley should not have sanctioned Barreca just for the sake of it.
Certainly it looks as though the club won’t be taking up the £8 million option to buy him permanently.
Newcastle should have enough to survive this term, but this summer there can be no repeats of this when it comes to getting new players in.