Three Players Who Could Add Real Quality To Newcastle United
Given the management team and the goal difference, there is a concern but not panic around Newcastle at the moment. However, there is confidence that they will not be relegated from the Premier League again. If this turns out to be the case, it would be nothing but terrific work from a world-class manager in Rafael Benitez and pure luck for the owner who has taken a massive risk with this football club.
Players like Mo Diame and Christian Atsu are ultimately not good enough but have admirably improved their game and have dug in to provide fleeting moments of quality in order to grab points wherever they can.
The team performances though, inspired by a La Liga and Champions League winning coach, are the most impressive and no more so than when the Toon beat Manchester United 1-0 last weekend with a goal from Matt Ritchie.
It’s hard to say what sort of players are realistic targets this summer for Newcastle until we know who the owners are. But assuming the club is still not in the market for £50m-£100m players, then these three will certainly add something to the current squad:
Currently on loan at Newcastle, the winger (as deployed by Benitez) has been a revelation and a pleasant surprise given his chequered past off the field. I myself had huge reservations about him coming to this club, however, Newcastle is the type of place where you either fit in or you don’t and in Kenedy’s case he has taken to the club and the city like a duck to water.
The fans love him already and it would be great to see him sign permanently, something Chelsea don’t look in favour of, given Antonio Conte’s suggestion that Kenedy just needs experience on loan before getting into the Blues side, something which confirms his quality.
Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid)
Still seen as one for the future at the Bernabeu, Hakimi has already been capped six times by his home nation of 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 in the Champions League.
This move definitely has legs given that Real know they need some experience in their side in order 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.
James Maddison (Norwich City)
Let’s not forget that the Canaries still have some fine players at their disposal, at least for now, and Maddison is arguably the best of them. Coming on in leaps and bounds, every month sees him improve and he will undoubtedly be a Premier League player next season, hopefully at Newcastle United, serving Rafa as the proper No.10.
Ideally fitting in behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Maddison has great movement and a good final touch which has led to him contributing 9 goals and 5 assists in 29 Championship games this term.