Rafael Benitez knows very well that he would have to mostly deal with Premier League failure or big club loanee in his squad next season and still get the best out of them. And although the Magpies have shown surprise interest in some of the bigger names in the summer market, the former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool manager is likely to end up with second priorities in most positions.
The Magpies will be challenging for the silverware mainly on two fronts next season- EFL Cup and FA Cup. Although Leicester City did the unimaginable and won the league one season back, the Spaniard won’t realistically aim for it next season itself. Challenging for a place in the top half is what he is targeting, and he would need to inject some experienced players of the top-flight football to execute that.
Newcastle United are already keeping eyes on Premier League rejects with Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs being the latest speculation. Another such option is Manchester City reject Fabian Delph. Guardiola hasn’t opted to renew most players’ contract who have been at the wrong end of 30, and Delph’s underwhelming displays compounded by his injury history means, he will be just warming the bench next season, even at 27.
He has been on Benitez’s radar for a long time now with the Magpies already making a loan bid for him in January. However, shortage of options in the midfield forced the City manager to hold onto him. Now, with City on a spending spree currently, Delph’s future at Etihad is increasingly uncertain and Benitez would surely want to gamble on it.
One of those promising talents in England that got wasted from the sidelines despite being picked by top English clubs, Delph has one last big chance in front of him next season with FIFA World Cup 2018 coming up next. And a move to Newcastle United could be a career defining decision for him.
An academy product of historic club Leeds United, Delph’s first big move was to Aston Villa in 2009 in what was a promising squad back then. However, he was nowhere as was expected and failed to create any impact whatsoever in three consecutive seasons. After three goals and seven assists for Villa, Delph moved to Manchester City.
He experienced extreme injury concerns at the Etihad, which saw him missing as many as 52 games. And unfortunately, a talent like him got very little chances to get in the groove with the star-studded squad of Manchester City. He has managed just three goals in two seasons.
Now a move to Newcastle United could either prove a turning point in his professional career or the final nail in the coffin. However, Newcastle United will have to fight the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Burnley and Celtic to land him.
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