Go For It Rafa – This £9m Barcelona Stopper Would Be A Great Upgrade On The Current Options Available At Newcastle

Jasper Cillessen

Why Newcastle United Could Offer First-team Football And A Chance To Re-invent The Career Of This £9m Goalkeeper

Newcastle United are reportedly plotting a sensational January move to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. The Dutchman could be available for a fee of £9million, which does present a good opportunity for Rafa Benitez to capitalise, especially when one considers how inflated the market has become over the last couple of summers.

Despite being a newly-promoted club this season, the Magpies have exceeded all expectations in the Premier League and are currently gracing the 11th spot on the table. A manager can never be too ambitious and Benitez is expected to secure his side’s chances of survival. To increase their chances of doing so, the manager is keen on bringing new recruits in January to provide more quality to the starting lineup.

Interestingly, Benitez wanted to sign a new goalkeeper over the summer but Mike Ashley’s budget constraints did not let that happen. Since then, Rob Elliot has been quite solid and the Magpies have conceded only 10 goals in 11 games in the Premier League so far. However, it is nice to see Benitez get ambitious, and he should have enough funds to go through with the move once the club’s proposed takeover gets finalised.

Cillessen has featured just once for Barcelona this year, which was in a cup match, and is understandably desperate to make a switch. He is currently the second-choice goalkeeper for the Catalans but the player is seeking regular football, which does make the move to Newcastle seem plausible. In fact, Cillessen has made only one La Liga start since moving from Ajax in summer 2016, and hence it does not come as no surprise that he wants to move.

One might argue that the player may not be a good buy since he has not featured for Barcelona much. However, it must be noted that Cillessen performed splendidly throughout his Ajax spell. He spent five years with the Dutch giants and won 3 Eredivisie titles in the process, which goes on to show how strong his impact can be.

Benitez’s management has truly revamped Newcastle but they have a long way to go if they are to finish in the top 10. So far, their defence has been quite well-organised and disciplined but they could be short of options as the season goes on due to the wear and tear of the league. In that regard, Cillessen would most certainly be a significant upgrade on their current options, while also making a solid mark of their intentions.

If the move goes through though, it could spell bad news for Elliot, who has put up commendable performances in goal for Newcastle. That said, it might not be a bad idea to bring in some competition for him. Also, having two quality options like Elliot and Cillessen will definitely boost their chances going forward.

Newcastle would offer Cillessen guaranteed first-team football and the chance to re-establish his reputation, making it likely for the player to be open to a deal.

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Written by Meghna Sengupta

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