Newcastle United’s 10th placed finish in the Premier League was deemed a massive over-achievement by many, and the masses are right when the club’s transfer activity is disseccted.
The Magpies were among the lowest spenders in the top flight following their promotion from the Championship, and saw just a handful of new names through the door at St James’ Park when their rivals were bolstering their squads with a whole host of new recruits.
Worse still for manager Rafael Benitez is that it was not a case of quality over quantity, for many of those brought in were left lacking the standard expected by the Toon Army.
The likes of Mikel Merino and Jacob Murphy had their redeeming features, even if they did not always perform at the highest level week in week out, but Spanish pair Joselu and Javier Manquillo left much more to be desired.
Neither look comfortable or confident in the top flight and were major weaknesses in the Magpies’ squad, sorted only by an improvement in form from Dwight Gayle and a return from injury by Paul Dummett, pushing the duo out of the starting XI.
Now it is claimed by the Chronicle that Benitez will be prioritising a new right back this summer and after Manquillo’s displays, now playing understudy to DeAndre Yedlin, it should come as no surprise.
If Benitez gets his wish and brings in a player of enough quality to battle it out with the American, then there is no way the 24-year-old should be staying at St James’ Park, even if he did sign last summer.
He looked weak on the right and even weaker filling in on the left and he can quite easily be deemed a flop capture, appearing for just 73 minutes in the last 14 league games.
His sale will help boost Newcastle’s transfer kitty and with Benitez needing all the cash he can get, an exit must be sealed sooner rather than later.
In other Newcastle United news, there are key talks imminent after the club’s top brass held a meeting over the future.