The Newcastle United manager is nervous about an upcoming season thanks to a disappointing transfer window.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
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For the second-straight season Rafa Benitez is ringing the warning bell after a 4-0 loss to Braga in a preseason friendly at the Portuguese side on Wednesday.
“I’m really worried,” Benitez said. “We’ll try to change it in the next 10 days, I don’t know how. We can talk, and be close (to a deal), but after we are not so close. I have no idea.”
Benitez started an XI which featured 10 players from his Championship side in 2016-17. Only goalkeeper Martin Dubravka wasn’t on the promoted side.
And perhaps that was to send a message, with new additions Fabian Schar and Ki Sung-yeung and Chelsea loanee Kenedy not in the squad at all.
The Magpies will have ex-Mainz forward Yoshimori Muto once he gains a work permit, but the depth is simply not there.
Benitez wanted competition for his weakest link, left back Paul Dummett, but hasn’t gotten one. A striker like Salomon Rondon is yet to get over the line, and he wants help with a No. 10 as well.
Unfortunately, the message just isn’t received by manager Mike Ashley. From The Chronicle Live:
“I can’t say too much about players coming because in the end it depends on so many things and we don’t finish the deals.”
The Magpies may survive another Premier League season, but Benitez has not signed a new contract and more action like this ensures they won’t be able to hire an experienced coach of his ilk any time soon.