Rafa Benitez reveals why he has told three senior Newcastle players to train at the club’s Academy

Unwanted man, Newcastle Uniteds Emmanuel Riviere.
Unwanted man, Newcastle Uniteds Emmanuel Riviere.

Rafa Benitez says his decision to banish a trio of players to Newcastle United’s Academy is “professional” – and NOT personal.

Tim Krul, Achraf Lazaar and Emmanuel Riviere have been training with the club’s development squad.

Benitez has made the trio available for transfer this summer.

United’s manager is adamant that he needs to move on a number of players to free up space – and generate funds – for more new arrivals ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League.

And Benitez says he has been “straight” with the players he is looking to sell in the transfer window.

Asked about the decision to send Krul, Lazaar and Riviere to the Academy, Benitez said: “When you have too many players, what you can do is talk with them straight, and that’s what I did.

You have to maximise the time that you have with your players. If someone has to stay at the Academy, they have to understand that it’s not personal, it’s professional.

Rafa Benitez

“I told them ‘listen, we have too many players – my idea is this one’. We have to be sure that they understand what we want to do.

“You cannot be Championship or Premier League when you don’t have all the squad, all the players, that you want, because we are going a little bit late.

“You have to maximise the time that you have with your players.

“If someone has to stay at the Academy, they have to understand that it’s not personal, it’s professional.”

Krul – who spent last season on loan at AZ Alkmaar and Ajax – has played more Premier League games for United than any other player in Benitez’s squad.

The 29-year-old, out of contract next summer, was hoping to impress Benitez in pre-season.

Benitez, however, is looking to bring in another goalkeeper to compete with Rob Elliot and Freddie Woodman.

Karl Darlow, the club’s Championship-winning goalkeeper, could also leave this summer.

The 26-year-old has only played 25 minutes of football in pre-season, while Krul has not featured at all.

Striker Riviere, meanwhile, spent last season on loan at Osasuna and is not in Benitez’s plans.

The 27-year-old striker’s contract length has never been disclosed by Newcastle, though reports in France he has one year left on his deal.

Riviere has been linked with a move to Turkish club Osmanlispor.

Defender Lazaar, signed last summer from Palermo, does not have a future at the club.

The 25-year-old – who has made one substitute’s appearance in pre-season – has a contract at Newcastle until 2021.

Meanwhile, Jacob Murphy’s hoping his two goals are the first of many for United.

The winger, signed last week from Norwich City for £12million, netted twice in Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over Bradford City at Valley Parade.

It was only Murphy’s second appearance for the club.

And the boyhood United fan – who had worn the change kit against Preston North End last weekend – enjoyed his first run-out in black and white stripes.

Asked about his goals, Murphy said: “It was great to get them so soon after coming in.

“It was a convincing win in the end. I was delighted to get on the scoresheet.”

Dwight Gayle – who also got on the scoresheet – set up Murphy’s first goal.

And the 22-year-old’s second was an instinctive half-volley after a Rolando Aarons cross was cleared as far as him.

“I had a little bit of luck when it came off the back of my heel,” said Murphy. “I managed to stick it away. I was delighted with that.

“That (second goal) was more instinctive. It feel nicely for me.”

Murphy will take confidence from the goals.

“It’s a big relief, but it’s also a massive confidence boost,” he said. “It’s what I needed to get me a bit more settled into the squad.”