Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez looks on from the touchline

By Danny Wright

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has admitted that Joselu wasn’t playing at his best level at Stoke.

The 27-year-old striker became the Magpies’ sixth summer signing earlier this week when he completed his £5million switch from the Bet365 Stadium.

Joselu was shipped out on loan to Deportivo in La Liga last season after his first year at Stoke saw him fail to impress as he scored just four goals in 22 Premier League games.

Benitez has now confessed that his record with Stoke wasn’t as good as he would have expected but has suggested that increased first-team football at St. James’ Park should see him shine.

“We knew him when he was in the academy at Real Madrid and he was the top scorer. He was doing well,” said the Toon boss, as quoted by the Mirror in their live transfer blog on Saturday [11:17am].

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“Obviously, in Spain, when he was at Deportivo La Coruna, we had some information, and when he was in Germany. We know the player and we know he has the potential.

“Was he playing at his level at Stoke? Maybe not. And can he do it here? Maybe he will have more chances.”

Joselu didn’t exactly improve his goal scoring record when he was sent out on loan to Spain after he netted just six goals in 24 appearances in all competition for Deportivo.

But he could make his Newcastle debut when they travel to Huddersfield on Sunday and will be competing with the likes of Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic for a spot in the starting line-up.

The former Spain Under-21 international has joined Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy, Javier Manquillo and Mikel Merino in signing for the Magpies this summer.

In other Newcastle news, the Magpies have received a response after they tabled a bid for this Serie A forward.

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