Newcastle United briefing: Club fails in loan move, Rafa Benitez's blunt admission

Newcastle United are yet to make a transfer breakthrough '“ so why are we waiting?

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15th January 2018, 11:31 am
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 11:35 am
Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Saturday's 1-1 draw against Swansea City underlined the need for reinforcements.

Joselu came off the bench to claim a point for Rafa Benitez's side, who dropped down to 15th in the table.

Benitez, desperate to strengthen a number of positions for the second half of the season, is frustrated at the club's transfer window inaction.

Here's your daily briefing:

Between the posts

Benitez, having failed to sign Willy Caballero last summer, is still keen to bring a goalkeeper to St James's Park.

United's manager has again been linked with a move for Napoli's Pepe Reina, though the 35-year-old's reported £10million tag – and wages – are likely to beyond his transfer budget.

Sparta Prague's Martin Dubravka was another target, but Newcastle have failed in a move for the 29-year-old Slovakia international.

Meanwhile, Heart of Midlothian have been linked with a loan move for defender Kyle Cameron, who has had spells at Newport County, York City and Workington.

Same old?

Benitez's starting players against Swansea all featured in the Championship last season.

Four of the club's summer signings were on the bench at St James's Park.

And the familiarity of the starting XI wasn't lost on Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal, who guided Sheffield Wednesday to home and away wins over Newcastle last term.

Asked about the familiar team, Benitez said: "Carvalhal told me that before the game.

"It tells everybody where we are. I have been saying it all season. Some people say ‘ah, but you have to do this, you have to do that’, but that’s the reality.

“We’re in the Premier League, and we have a lot of players giving everything, but sometimes it’s not enough."


Jonjo Shelvey hit the headlines against Swansea, his former club.

However, the midfielder's performance on the pitch wasn't newsworthy. Instead, it was his refusal to shake Benitez's hand as he left the pitch was the story.

Benitez didn't feel it was a petulant act from Shelvey, taken off late in the game.

“When players leave the pitch, especially when the team is losing or drawing, they want to stay there and make a contribution or make the difference, so you have to understand that," said Benitez.

Long wait

It’s been 86 days since Newcastle last won at home.

Had Benitez’s side taken just two more points at St James’s Park since the October 21 win over Crystal Palace, they would be 11th in the Premier League table.

As it is, Newcastle are just three points above the relegation zone.

So why can’t United, backed by sell-out crowd after sell-out crowd at St James’s Park this season, win at home?

“I honesty don't know the reason, but we need to find a way to get wins here and quick,” said defender DeAndre Yedlin.

“Mainly for the fans, because they’ve been right behind us all season.

“They stuck with us, even during the tough run, so we just need to find a way any way we can.

“I really don’t know the reason. I can’t put my finger on it, but we have to find a way to start winning here.”

Read our full interview with Yedlin here.