Rafa Benitez explains why he brought Javier Manquillo to Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has backed Jaivier Manquillo to put a disappointing season at Sunderland behind him – and prove himself in the Premier League.

Manquillo this week joined the club from Atletico Madrid on Friday.

And the 23-year-old – who spent last season on loan at Sunderland – yesterday made his debut against Preston North End.

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Newcastle's move for Manquillo was questioned on Wearside given that the defender spent a large part of the club's relegation season on the bench.

However, Benitez believes the Spain Under-23 international can realise his potential on Tyneside.

"With Javier he can play in both full back positions, and we needed the cover the right full back. He has to improve from last season, we know, but he is a player who has the potential," said United's manager.

"Once he’s trained properly, and understands what we do, he can be a good addition."

Winger Jacob Murphy, signed from Norwich City on Wednesday, also made his debut in Newcastle's 1-1 draw against Preston at Deepdale.

“With Jacob, we were looking for wingers with some pace, and he can give us this," said Benitez.