Rafa Benitez reveals why he turned to Newcastle's Yoan Gouffran

Rafa Benitez has revealed why he handed a Yoan Gouffran a surprise start.

Wednesday, 17th August 2016, 10:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th August 2016, 9:34 am
Ciaran Clark and Yoan Gouffran

The Newcastle United forward had a hand in two of Newcastle United's goals in tonight's 4-1 win over Reading at St James's Park.

Gouffran's future looks to lie away from St James's Park.

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But Benitez felt that the 30-year-old – who could yet leave before the transfer window closes at the end of the month – could make an important contribution in the wide areas.

"Until the end of the transfer window, it is quite complicated to keep everybody focused," said Benitez.

"But we are doing what we have to do every week. We were talking about Gouffran, and maybe he was thinking about offers that could come, but he had to play and he did really well.

"It is not easy for any player to think ‘I have to be really concentrated and focused when maybe tomorrow I will leave’, but you have seen examples in the Premier League of players playing one game and then leaving the following day for another team.

“I’ve said a lot that these players are quite professional.

"Every training session they are working hard, even the players who know they might leave.

"He (Gouffran) is a good professional, a good player, and we needed a bit of experience in the wide areas. I think he did well."