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

Jake Jackman




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.

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.

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.

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


Liverpool missing out on Yerry Mina looks a mistake after World Cup showing

Liverpool had been linked with a loan move for Mina but he looks set for Real Betis.

Mathew Nash



Earlier this summer Liverpool were linked with the loan move of Barcelona defender Yerry Mina. Back in May, it seemed as though he was definitely Anfield bound. As reported by talkSPORT, a TV presenter in Spain had suggested his loan move to Liverpool for the season was done.

That, of course, did not prove to be the case. Now, it is suggested the Liverpool target is going elsewhere. The Colombian is, according to reports, off to Real Betis. As reported by El Desmarque, the La Liga side are on the cusp of completing a loan deal for the player which will include an option to buy at the end of the season.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Based on the evidence of last night at the World Cup, Liverpool are definitely missing out.

Mina, who cost Barca £10.5 million in January, put in a fantastic display for Colombia against Poland in Russia yesterday. Brought in to replace Valencia’s Jeison Murillo the youngster formed a fantastic partnership with Tottenham Hotspur youngster Davinson Sanchez at the heart of defence for Colombia.

Fast, strong and imposing in the air the 23-year-old looked every inch the Premier League defender.

He even found his way onto the scoresheet. He excellently nodded home James Rodriguez’s beautiful lofted cross to give Colombia the lead.

What Liverpool fans saw was the perfect option to provide a challenge to Dejan Lovren for the partnership with Virgil van Dijk. Unfortunately, it seems he will be heading elsewhere.

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Chelsea face Alvaro Morata decision amid Borussia Dortmund interest

The Spaniard could be set to leave the Blues after just one season.

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea have a summer of restructuring ahead of them, but the progress has been slow to date.

Antonio Conte remains in the manager’s hotseat, despite plenty of rumours to suggest that he is unlikely to be in the dugout for the first game of the 2018/19 season.

The Blues won’t be in the Champions League for the second time in three years and that is likely to affect their transfer business in a negative way.

They will realise the importance of selling players in order to bring in the funds required to strengthen.

Talksport and the Daily Mail both cite reports originating from Bild suggesting that Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.

The German club are believed to have made the Spaniard a top priority as they try to add a top-tier striker to their ranks.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Last season, they loaned Michy Batshuayi from Stamford Bridge and the Belgian striker did very well for the club, but they have now switched their attention to his team-mate.

Morata endured an off first season in the Premier League, facing a lot of criticism for his performances, despite finishing the campaign with a decent return in front of goal.

His contribution of 11 goals and six assists in the Premier League isn’t bad, but Chelsea expected more from a striker that they spent big on last summer.

It was hoped that he would play a similar role to Diego Costa, but he lacked his international team-mate’s aggression in the final third.

It can be argued that he was a more selfless striker and he often chose to bring his team-mates into the game at every opportunity, but the lack of a regular supply of goals did hurt Chelsea.

They became over-reliant on Eden Hazard and Willian. Meanwhile, the tactical set-up of Antonio Conte was a lot less effective without a top-tier striker.

There will be many at Chelsea that remain behind Morata and will be willing to give him time, but if the interest from Dortmund is genuine, it may be too good to turn down.

Although they aren’t in the Champions League, the Blues remain one of the biggest clubs in Europe and they will have the pulling power to attract a top striker.

At this time, their Spanish number nine has maintained his value in the transfer market, but another average season may see that plummet.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The problem at Chelsea right now is that their future direction both in the boardroom and in the dugout are unclear.

This period of uncertainty is hurting the club as they are unable to make decisions on members of the current squad and potential transfer targets.

Antonio Conte will have different ideas than a potential successor and until a clear decision is made on the manager, no moves can be made in the transfer market.

His first season in England will have been a disappointment for Morata and he will be eager to prove that he remains one of the best strikers in the world.

A player doesn’t have Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea on their CV without having a lot of talent.

At the age of 25, he still has his best years ahead of him and it might be worth keeping him in the hope that there is an improvement.

However, the Blues need to return to the Champions League next season and their current number nine may not be up to the task of delivering that.

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Fans still divided on Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson despite excellent England showing

Jordan Henderson was excellent for England again but the Liverpool man struggles to win over fans.

Mathew Nash



There are always players among the England national team that seem to divide opinion. Right now, Jordan Henderson appears to be that player. The Liverpool captain is continuously criticised for his performances by fans of both England and Liverpool.

The main criticism is that Henderson is too negative. He is always looking to play the ball backwards or sideways and never forward. Henderson is limited in ability, negative in style and a waste of a shirt number. That is often the criticism.

Others completely disagree. Henderson is the pendulum of the Liverpool and England team. He sets a tempo from midfield and is always available as an out ball. He does play forward passes, often in behind defences to test them and move territory into the opposition third.

These are the fans who believe Henderson has come on leaps and bounds under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage at Liverpool.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Based on his form so far at the World Cup, those people are right. Henderson was brilliant against Tunisia in the opening game. He was even better today, as England swept aside Panama 6-1.

Henderson put in a fantastic display for 90 minutes, covering more ground than any other player in sizzling heat. He was often positive in his passing and showed his natural leadership qualities, even if Harry Kane wears the armband.

But once again, fans are divided. It seems Henderson may always be ‘that’ player for England. The easy one to blame, the scapegoat.

Unless he can carry on his excellent form and bring ‘it’ home. Then fans will have to love the Liverpool star…

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