Rafa Benitez gives his verdict on Newcastle’s summer transfer business

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
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Rafa Benitez feels he has the strength in depth he needs at Newcastle United to challenge for promotion.

The club signed 12 players in the summer transfer window, which closed on Wednesday night with the £30million sale of Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham Hotspur.

Benitez – whose side sit fourth in the Championship – was keen to have two players covering every position.

And the Spaniard now feels his squad is balanced and competitive.

Asked about the club’s transfer business, United’s manager said: “I am happy.

“Everyone could see we needed more offensive players, more creativity in the team.

“So we have Matt Ritchie, Mohamed Diame and Dwight Gayle to create chances and score goals, and, of course, we added Daryl Murphy, which gives us another option up front.

“Now we have Christian Atsu, who is an attacking winger, as well as Achraf Lazaar and DeAndre Yedlin, who are attack-minded defenders.

“We have also strengthened in other areas.

“Jesus Gamez, Ciaran Clark, Grant Hanley and Matz Sels will increase the competition at the back, and Isaac Hayden will do the same in the middle, so the competition in each position only can be good for the team.”

Newcastle ended the summer with a £30million-plus profit following Sissoko’s late move, and Benitez hasn’t ruled out more investment in January, when the transfer window reopens.

“We will continue to assess the squad over the next few months and see how we are doing before the end of the year,” said Benitez.