Rafa Benitez: Newcastle can’t rely on Academy players to compete at top – we have to sign from outside

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Homegrown, local players going from academy to first-team is how Rafa Benitez would like life to work at Newcastle United in an ideal world.

But, sadly, he says the situation is not that simple.

Paul Dummett in last weekend's home loss to Fulham.

Paul Dummett in last weekend's home loss to Fulham.

In fact, the manager thinks this ideal is very difficult, especially if the Magpies want to compete with the great and the good at the higher echelons of the English game.

Paul Dummett is the only academy graduate in recent years to really establish themselves as a mainstay in the United team.

And while Benitez is a big fan of the full-back, and the fact he has done his time at United and risen from the youth ranks, he can see why there are so few who are knocking on the first-team door.

"It would be perfect to have a lot of local players, homegrown players playing in the first-team but it is not easy," the Spaniard said to NUFC TV.

"It is not difficult here, it is not easy everywhere.

"You can sign players from Spain, France, Holland or Italy and they are just academy players. They go alongside the English ones.

"To have someone [Dummett] who can go into the first-team and play so many games is really good for the spirit of the team.

"The ideal situation would be to bring a couple of players from the academy each year but if you want to compete at the highest level it is difficult.

"If you want to do that you have to bring in players from outside, or abroad, to compete with the other teams."