The appointment of Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United has changed the club’s fortune. Newcastle were once struggling after getting relegated from the English Premier League but the appointment of Benitez saw the club come back to the top flight in amazing fashion.
Down in the Sky Bet Championship, the Magpies won promotion back to the English league in the span of one season by winning the competition. Their return to the top division this season saw the outfit from Tyneside suffer and struggle but manage to stay up somehow.
Benitez’s problem has however not been with the team or the players but with the club’s owner Mike Ashley. Ashley has been extremely difficult to deal with in the transfer market as the purse stringent owner has refused to make any funds available for Benitez to complete a permanent transfer.
The Newcastle boss has had to deal with a stagnant squad and having been unable to sign new players, he has had to rejuvenate the average players in punching above their weight to stay alive in the Premier League.
Having been rejected a permanent transfer of any sort in the summer transfer window last summer, Benitez was allowed to make a few loan signings in the winter transfer window. He bought in attacking players like Kenedy and Islam Slimani but the maximum impact was made by a signing from Sparta Prague; the goalkeeper by the name of Martin Dubravka.
Dubravka joined a team which already had three-four top-class goalkeepers like Rob Elliot but the new signing managed to climb his way up the ladder and became the first choice goalkeeper at the club. He has played 12 games in the league keeping several clean sheets and has conceded only 11 goals.
It is now being reported that Newcastle are interested in signing the keeper on a permanent basis. The player is supposed to be valued at £4m, a price that could make the signing possible. The final frontier, however, has to be convincing Ashley, who will be the one to sanction the check.
The stakes for signing players on a permanent basis will be even higher as Benitez has made it clear that he might not continue with Newcastle unless the club decides to open their wallet this time. All the more reason for Ashley then to sign Dubravka, who besides being influential, might guarantee the stay of Benitez at the club.