During the summer when Rafa Benitez started his summer rebuilding efforts, one player that he wouldn’t have wanted to lose was Dutch international right back Daryl Janmaat.
Newcastle signed him on a 6 year deal for an undisclosed fee in July 2014 and tried as hard as they can to keep him following their relegation to the Championship last season. He even started the first two matches of their campaign. But unfortunately for Newcastle, he just wouldn’t consider dropping down a division.
“They knew that I wanted to stay in the Premier League,” he said. “It was the main thing for me. I had played there for two years, enjoyed it and although there were offers from Spain and Italy this is where I wanted to be.”
“Relegation was difficult, of course it was, but I never felt bad about Newcastle. They gave me the chance to play in the Premier League and are a great club, a massive club and no one wants to get involved in a relegation battle. It was not pleasant and especially for the fans. They need to be in the Premier League. It’s not normal to see a club like Newcastle not in the Premier League so I hope it is just one year away.”
“Benítez wanted me to stay at the beginning but he also knew there was some interest and he always told me that he only wants players who are ‘100 per cent focused on staying’ so when Watford and other clubs came in then there was a lot of talk,” Janmaat explains. “I thought about it and thought that, yes, I wanted to stay in the Premier League and it was also a factor for me with the national team. It also meant that Newcastle could get money for me so it felt like it was the right thing to do for everyone.”
With his future decided, and a £7.5million move to Watford agreed, Newcastle didn’t waste any time in signing a replacement.
They quickly pounced to sign American youngster DeAndre Yedlin for £5million from Tottenham Hotspur. He was a player who had spent the previous season on loan to North-East rivals Sunderland, and whilst he had shown glimpses of talent it was clear that he wasn’t quite at the same level as Janmaat.
However, dropping down to the Championship, the young ex-Spurs player has shown plenty of ability and proven why he was described as one of the fastest players in world football.
He shows a lot of ability moving into forward areas, as shown by his assist in this weekend’s 2-1 victory over Cardiff.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez may have regretted losing Janmaat at the start of the season, but it is looking likely that DeAndre Yedlin may move to heights that the Dutchman never could in the future. So he will be sitting in his office pretty happy with his transfer business as far as his right back spot is concerned.