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Rumours escalated over the weekend that Rafael Benitez, if and when a budget is agreed on, of course, will go to his former club Real Madrid and attempt to sign one of their defenders. Benitez is looking to do a deal for 19-year-old right-back Achraf Hakimi, though only on loan for now.
DeAndre Yedlin is still reasonably solid but beyond that, Newcastle have very little to offer in this position, with Javier Manquillo, Jesus Gamez and Jamie Sterry all having failed to nail down a place at right full-back.
Having watched Real Madrid for a full 90 minutes on Sunday night at Celta Vigo for the first time this season, I realised I hadn’t seen a Real side as bad as this in a long, long time but one of the plus points to be fair was Achraf himself.
Still seen as someone for the future at the Bernabeu, Hakimi has already been capped 6 times by his home nation, Morocco and all this by 19. La Liga rivals Real Betis and Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon have also been credited with an interest, though proving himself in England would be a great next step for the youngster.
Achraf made his Los Blancos debut only in October and managed a full 90 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.
This move definitely has legs given that Real know they need some experience in their side to ensure they lose no further ground behind Barcelona, while Rafa Benitez has already shown on numerous occasions that he has used his contacts in Spain very well.
Rafa is said to have informed both Real and Barca that he needs players and so if either has young stars they wish to send out on loan, they very well have an option in Newcastle. A couple of clever loans could be the way Benitez needs to go given his budget or lack thereof, so this move would represent some great business for Newcastle in the short term.
Achraf, although not the finished article yet, is already better than anything Newcastle can offer in this position including Yedlin and so he would quite simply improve the squad slightly, which makes any potential deal for him a no-brainer from the off.
Given that he has only just tasted first-team football in Madrid, the chance to work with Benitez should be something any player in his position should take.