By Amir Mir
Rafa Benitez has insisted he has signed players who want to play for Newcastle, rather than players who see the club as a steeping stone for their future big-money moves.
Moussa Sissoko made a £30 million switch from Newcastle to Tottenham minutes before the Wednesday night cut-off, earlier on in the summer Andros Townsend completed a £13 million transfer to Crystal Palace.
In recent times Yohan Cabaye and Andy Carroll have made big money transfers to Paris St-Germain and Liverpool respectively after impressive performances on Tyneside.
But, Benitez has stated that he now has players who want to play for the club, rather than have players who have thoughts of a move elsewhere in the coming years.
“The main thing is that the club is in control and we are signing players who are right for this club and for our Championship campaign,” Benitez told the Chronicle. “It cannot be the other way around. We are only interested in bringing players to Newcastle who want to work hard for the club and the team, not players who want to be at another club maybe next year or the year after.
“We are not a stepping stone, we are Newcastle United. Every player should be honoured to wear the shirt of this club.
“They should feel the same passion that the fans feel, then you have a great relationship between the players and the supporters in the stadium. It is magical when that happens and it can help us achieve great things together.”
The north-east club have signed a total of 15 players this summer, with 27 players departing the Championship side.
Matt Ritchie was the club’s highest transfer signing, with the 26-year-old making a £12 million move from Bournemouth.
After losing their first two Championship fixtures, the Magpies have won four consecutive games in all competitions and moved up to fourth in the Championship table.
Dwight Gayle who was a £10 million signing from Crystal Palace has scored four goals for Benitez’ side as they aim for instant promotion back to the Premier League.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the club’s academy graduate has signed a loan deal with this Football League side.