Rafael Benitez masterminded a great return to the Premier League at Newcastle Unite last season. The Toon Army are back in the big league and look set to stay here for the long haul. They won the Championship last season and won it with relative ease.
They have been linked to a host of players, as are any club who have just been promoted. But owner Mike Ashley has promised Rafa some money to be spent in order to remain in the Premier League.
Aleksandar Mitrovic confirmed fears that he might leave the club, with many clubs vying for his services. Dwight Gayle was preferred for the striker position and has duly made it his own.
Newcastle made their first signing last month, making Christian Atsu’s successful loan a permanent deal.
With Mitrovic’s impending transfer, there opens up a space for another player on the roster. Fulham’s 26-year old Scottish International, Tom Cairney is one the many names which are suggested. He has had an impressive spell at Craven Cottage.
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has since confirmed that Newcastle have indeed had a bid rejected for Cairney.
“He [Benitez] asked for him and they offered £20million, but we did not let him go.
“He is not for Newcastle, there is no business there, he fits in at Fulham.
“When the team has problems the ball always goes to him and he keeps it.”
The 26-year-old enjoyed a fine season for the Cottagers as they made the playoffs before losing to Reading on penalties in the semi-final.
Cairney made 51 appearances last season, scoring 13 goals and notching 12 assists in the process. The Scottish international has an astounding pass completion of 92.5%. He also averages 2.5 shots, 2.6 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per game. (whoscored)
What he offers
Cairney is a great dribbler, can hold on to the ball and has a wicked shot on him. He is adept at taking long shots and is always looking for a through ball. Although a great passer of the ball, finishing comes naturally to the 26-year old. He is the perfect player Benitez needs to build a team around.
This deal could well turn out to be a match made in heaven if everything goes as planned.
Cairney has also stated a desire to play in the world’s best league and backed himself to do well.
“Every player has to back themselves to play at that level and I believe once I get there and I hope it’s with Fulham I really will show I can do things at that level,” Cairney said.