Rafa Benitez explains why he doesn’t need Jack Colback in his Newcastle squad

Jack Colback
Jack Colback

Jack Colback will have to leave Newcastle United to play first-team football, according to Rafa Benitez.

Colback has been training with the club’s Under-23 squad since August.

We have four or five midfielders. We didn’t want to have six. I don’t want too many players in the same position.

Rafa Benitez

Benitez made Colback available for transfer in the summer, but the midfielder didn’t secure a move away from St James’s Park.

And the 28-year-old, under contract at St James’s Park until 2019, will have to leave the club, either on loan or permanently, in the January window if he’s to play again this season.

“He’s training in the academy with Under-23,” said Benitez. “He knows what the situation is and we’ll continue working with the players we have available now.

“He knows from the beginning we have four or five midfielders, and I didn’t want to have six.”

Asked if he could be recalled to Benitez’s squad with Mikel Merino sidelined with a back problem, Benitez said: “No. We have the international break now, and we have enough players in that position.

“We have Chancel Mbemba who can even play in midfield.

“Without Merino, we can play Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey Isaac Hayden and Henri Saivet

“If we need anything else, we can also play Chancel Mbemba there a midfielder – he played there in the Africa Cup of Nations.

“It’s not a situation that for games you will not have players. I think we have enough bodies.”