Rafa Benitez reveals his plan for Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez will have some long overdue time on the training pitch ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to Molineux – and he intends to make the most of it.

Miguel Almiron.
Miguel Almiron.

Benitez’s players are back in training ahead of Monday night’s televised game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Time on the training pitch has been at a premium over the past six weeks given the club’s hectic league and cup fixture list.

Rafa Benitez.

And Benitez – who gave his players three days off after the weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley – is keen to use the next few days to bed in new signings Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca.

“For sure, it will be good for the new players to have time with us on the training ground,” said United’s manager, whose 15th-placed side is just two points above the relegation zone.

“I think time is important so that players can train together, understand each other, and build relationships.

“So I think it will be a good opportunity for us to explain to the new players what we are expecting from them.

“But, also, it gives the new players the chance to adapt to the team as well, and also our players time to adapt to them.”


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Barreca came off the bench at Wembley to make his debut against Tottenham, while Almiron had to travel to Paris to get a work permit after joining from Atlanta United in a club-record £21million deal.

The Paraguay international took part in his first training session yesterday afternoon after returning to Tyneside with his paperwork.

The 24-year-old – who hasn’t played since the MLS Cup final against Portland Timbers on December 8 – will be included in Benitez’s squad for the Wolves game if he comes through the next few days with no ill-effects.

Almiron will be unveiled to the media today.


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Benitez plans to take his players away to Spain for warm-weather training after the Wolves game.

Meanwhile, tickets for the Wolves game are on general sale from Newcastle.

Tickets are priced £30 for adults and £17 for over-65s and under-21s. Tickets for under-17s and under-12s are priced £14 and £12 respectively.