Rafa Benitez: Why Newcastle’s squad is NOT big – despite summer investment

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he does NOT have a big squad at Newcastle United.

The club made 12 signings in the summer transfer window, but many players also left on loans and permanant deals.

The squad is not big. If you analyse every single player we had last season we had 31, now we have 27.

Rafa Benitez

United manager Benitez has a working squad of 27 players, which is smaller than the one he worked with in the Premier League.

Benitez, preparing for tomorrow’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, has chopped and changed his team so far this season.

And that policy will continue over the coming weeks and months.

Benitez said: “The squad is not big.

“If you analyse every single player we had last season we had 31, now we have 27 with (Freddie) Woodman and (Massadio) Haidara, who will play for the Under-23s.

“What we have now is that the majority of them are fit, so we have less injuries. The squad looks bigger because we have two players in each position, more or less.”

Newcastle invested in the medical department this summer, and Benitez also persuaded long-serving doctor Paul Catterson to stay at St James’s Park.

And he is hopeful that the days lost to injury can be reduced this season by careful management of his players.

“We are trying to change some things,” he said. “Part of it is to change players to give them more rest by rotating them. We don’t need to risk any players.

“The medical department work very hard and we have a new fitness coach, a new physio and we have a very good atmosphere between them.

“They are all working hard together.”