The January transfer window was kind and cruel at the same time for Newcastle United.
While the Magpies received an exciting talent like Miguel Almiron, they also brought in Antonio Barreca on loan from Monaco, a deal which is turning out to be a complete bust.
With Paul Dummett being Newcastle’s only option at left-back, they decided to sign Barreca on loan from the French side with an option to purchase permanently. The Italian left-back was a decent option during Monaco’s abysmal league campaign, leading to the deal as Benitez looked to fill a position that’d proved a problem on Tyneside for absolutely years.
However, what could’ve been a promising tale has now deteriorated into a bitter situation. Barreca’s only made a single appearance for the Magpies, that too after coming on after 86th minute in the late loss to Tottenham at Wembley. Since then, Matt Ritchie has largely been deployed as a wing-back, with either Christian Atsu or the aforementioned Dummet coming on.
In fact, Bentinez apparently doesn’t find him to be defensively stable enough and, according to reports from the Sun via talkSPORT, the Spaniard “doesn’t rate” his talents.
As a result, Ritchie’s been drafted in the left wing-back role in Newcastle’s new and improved system. Yet, Barreca’s failures prove he might not have been Benitez’s top choice at all.
Despite breaking the club record with Almiron’s signing, Barreca’s failed addition proves Ashley and Benitez aren’t on the same page.
Tensions might soon be brewing because of the wastage of the Italian defender and further points at a difference of ambition within the club.
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