Rafa Benitez did an extremely good job with the squad at his disposal at the St James’ last season as he won the Championship title with Newcastle United in his first full-year in charge of the club. The manager is now looking to make sure that they can make a similar impact in the Premier League but will have to add some quality players to his first team to do so.
The Spanish manager has already added a couple of decent signings to his squad but he will know that his side is still one established signing away from competing for a place in the top half of the table next season. One such player Rafa wants this summer is Everton star Ross Barkley.
Barkley 100% leaving
A product of the academy at the Goodison Park, Barkley is one of the most versatile and exciting midfielders in the country and was in decent form for Everton in the previous season. However, the lack of progress at the Merseyside has seen him reject a contract extension and with less than a year left on his contract, he is now up for sale.
The likes of Tottenham Hotspur have been extensively linked with a move for the 23-year old but Everton are reportedly holding out on a £50m fee for his services, which is putting his suitors off. But with time running out to off load him, Koeman might cut down on his price and has recently revealed that he is surely going to quit the club this summer. This is now attracting interest from the camp at the St James’ Park.
Barkley and his potential
A midfielder who loves to play in the attacking third, Barkley is a versatile player who can also play as a part of the midfield three while is also decent playing on the wing. With 22 international appearances and 150 Premier League appearances already to his name, the 23-year old has already established himself at the highest stage in the country.
Known for his physical and aggressive approach, Barkley is a gifted tactician with some exemplary vision to go with his deadly passing accuracy. Though still weak with his defensive duties, Barkley is adept at creating chances in the final third and has the ability to walk into most of the top squads in England. His return of 21 goals and 21 assists in 150 PL games does not fill many with confidence but at just 23, he will improve with every game and has potential to turn into a super star in years to come.
Chance to shine at Newcastle
Barkley would have expected one of the top-6 clubs in the Premier League to be all over his signature this summer but he is now wanted by Newcastle United, who are now one of the favourites to land him this summer according to certain reports.
Newcastle United have a decent squad that won the Championship last season and though Rafa has made a couple of decent additions, he lack players with Premier League experience at the highest stage and Ross Barkley can solve this issue.
Barkley can walk into the first team at the St James’ and with the quality around him, he could be the main talisman of the side, something he will have dreamt of.
Newcastle United may not be fighting for the title or even Champions League qualification but they are certainly a team to watch out for and Barkley could be their main man if he decides to move to the club this summer. But at his price, is he the right man for Newcastle this summer?