Rafa to put faith in summer signings
Newcastle new-boys Fabian Schar, Ki Sung-yueng, Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto are set to feature in the season-opener with Spurs.
Magpies boss Rafa Benitez is expected to hand most of his summer signings the chance to impress from the start when Tottenham travel to St James’ Park on Saturday.
However, latest arrival Federico Fernandez will not be involved after only completing his move from Swansea on deadline day, and fellow defender Florian Lejeune is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery.
Benitez has had to endure a difficult summer in the transfer market as owner Mike Ashley’s promise that he could spend ‘every last penny’ the club generated on strengthening his squad still left him searching for bargain basement signings.
In the event, the Magpies ended the summer with a profit of around £20million, although Benitez was philosophical as he spoke to the media on Friday.
He said: ‘I am really calm now because we have finished (the transfer window). It is the time where you have to do exactly as we did last year, the fans behind the team, all together, the work rate and commitment.
‘During the summer, you have to try to improve your squad as much as possible; as soon as you are finished, you have to concentrate on football.
‘The fans will think, ‘Rafa will be upset’ or this or that, but this is not the time for that.
‘We finished 10th last year. We have added some players – players we needed – and I think that is good and positive. Could it be better? You can always improve and be better, but I am pleased with the players that are here.’