Newcastle fans in the Transfer Tavern are anticipating a big transfer window as Rafael Benitez looks to strengthen his squad and challenge for Europe next year.
Benitez guided the Magpies to a tenth place finish in the Premier League, an extremely respectable end to the season given the lack of investment in the playing squad. The former Real Madrid boss needs to be backed by Mike Ashley in the transfer window if they are to better their position. With a few key signings, Newcastle are capable of challenging for a place in Europe.
There are a few areas that need strengthening now the window is open including defence. A new long-term defensive partner for Jamaal Lascelles would be a great move and would boost their chances next season. The perfect signing could be Real Betis defender, Marc Bartra.
The former Barcelona man arrived at the club from Dortmund in January and was named their Player of the Season. Valued at £15.75m by Transfermarkt, Bartra is the ideal centre-back for Benitez’s style of play. He is a fantastic passer despite being a defender, completing 85% of his passes according to WhoScored. He also retained the highest average rating of any defender to play more than 15 games in La Liga.
Still only 27-years-old, the Spaniard is nearing his prime. His time at Dortmund was uninspiring, but he has highlighted just how good he could be during his spell at Betis.
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