It is indeed sad to see a once proud club like Newcastle United be in the position they are in right now on deadline day. The only glue which is probably holding the club together is Rafa Benitez, and you worry for the club once the Spaniard leaves, which going by current circumstances, is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

If the blow of losing Mitrovic for £22m was not enough, the replacement that the former Liverpool manager received was in the form of Salomon Rondon. ON LOAN. Now, that is a Mike Ashley deal if you ever saw one. With Florian Lejeune injured, you would think the Magpies would spend some of the cash to land a proper defender, a ball playing one like Rafa wanted for so long. Well, if you follow Newcastle United, you already know there is no happy ending to this story.

The Chronicle is now reporting that Newcastle United have made a loan (of course!) bid for Barcelona defender Marlon Santos. However, the club is having problems with approving a work permit for the 22-year-old defender. While there is a possibility of the deal being scuppered, let us hope for the sake of all the Newcastle fans out there that the bureaucratic bull sh**e is sorted out and Santos is signed by the end of the day. 

The Ideal Rafa Benitez Defender?

Depends! Given how reports are confirming that the Spaniard only has loan deals and a minimal amount of money to play with, getting Santos on loan is probably the best move for him at the moment. The pre-season has not been great, and Newcastle need inspiration. While ‘inspiration’ is not likely to come out of Santos, he is probably the best bet out of a losing deck.

Young and willing to play out from the back, Santos is a player in the Bielsa and Guardiola mould. While pleasing to the eye, it is not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to his defensive abilities. The Brazilian is not great at heading (although colour me shocked that his heading is not the greatest at just 5’10”) and his tackling still leaves a lot to be desired as he is prone to diving into challenges.

You can see why Newcastle only wants to go in on a loan deal for the defender. While he is still young and willing to learn, it is clear that Rafa intends to use him only as a short-term fix until Lejeune comes back into the fold. There is a specific caveat to all this though; Jamaal Lascelles could still potentially leave today if an astronomical offer comes in. In that case, you would guess that Rafa Benitez would have enough money to get in a couple of solid defensive options potentially. Then again if you think that, you probably don’t know Mike Ashley very well.

Pranjal is the co-owner of The 4th Official. While he completed law from Department of Law, University of Calcutta, his passion always remained in football and that is where he finally ended up at.