BBC radio pundit Noel Whelan has given his reaction to the latest reports on Newcastle United’s ongoing search for a new Director of Football (DoF).
The Lowdown: Emenalo rejects Newcastle
As per The Telegraph, Michael Emenalo – who was reportedly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consortium’s ‘top choice’ for the DoF role – turned down the position offered to him after he remained unconvinced that the St James’ Park club matched his ambitious plans for them.
Should Newcastle hire Emenalo?
It means that the search for a DoF continues on Tyneside as the January transfer window draws ever closer.
The Latest: Whelan reacts
Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Whelan has since given his reaction to the news, claiming that it is a ‘massive blow’ for Newcastle that they have seemingly lost out on hiring Emenalo. He said:
“It’ll be really disappointing for Newcastle – no one likes rejection.
“They’ll have thought that they had put something on the table which could entice and tempt him to join.
“They will have wanted to fill that role as quickly as possible. Even more so when they have a massive window coming up.
“They have the manager through the door, now they need that second person in so they can put their heads together ahead of January.
“It is huge, a massive blow. That jigsaw piece still needs to be fit in. It needs to be done quickly so they can get to work.”
The Verdict: A blow indeed
Given that he was reportedly their top choice, it is indeed a blow that Newcastle have seemingly missed out on hiring Emenalo.
African football specialist Tunde Adelakun has previously hailed the Nigerian’s ‘wealth of knowledge, exposure and experience’ as he helped to grow the game in Africa, also citting Emenalo’s role in the two Premier League titles and Champions League triumph that Chelsea enjoyed when he was part of the backroom team in west London.
Emenalo is also said to be a fan of Eddie Howe, so the two could have worked well together in finding the right players to bring into Newcastle in January.
Nonetheless, it looks as if the Magpies will now have to look at other candidates for the role, and ideally they need to bring someone in before the transfer window opens in what is a crucial period in their season as they look to avoid relegation.
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