Rafa Benitez wants to bring more 'great names' to Newcastle

Rafa Benitez at the 125 Years United dinner (Pic: NUFC/Serena Taylor)
Rafa Benitez at the 125 Years United dinner (Pic: NUFC/Serena Taylor)

Rafa Benitez's hoping to see more "great names" at Newcastle United.

The club is celebrating its 125th birthday this season.

Benitez and a number of players attended this week's 125 Years United dinner, staged by the Newcastle United Foundation, at Exhibition Park.

United's manager studied the club's history after taking charge last year.

And Benitez is hopeful that the club, which was put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley last month, will be in a position to buy – and attract – big names over the coming years.

"Obviously, a big club has a lot of big players in its history, so it's really important for us to realise that," said Benitez.

"We try to do it the same way they were doing things as well, and hopefully in my time here, we'll have more of those great names too.

"We have a young team with young players – some of them don't have experience of the Premier League.

"They are in a learning process, and we have to make sure that they are going one step in the right direction."

Benitez says it's "difficult to sell the club to British players" given its support and stature.

"Some of them, you have to tell them what it means to be the big club in the city," added Benitez, who guided the club to the Championship title last season.

"Some of them, they already know. They see our support when we go away.

"It's not difficult to sell the club to British players – they know what's going on in the league and in England. They know it's a big club.

"Some of the foreign players, they may know the big names, but it's important for them to realise from the moment they join that they are working for a massive club and they have to be sure that they're doing things right on the pitch."