Newcastle’s decision to bring in a loan manager in a bid to help bring on the young players graduating through the academy is long overdue, and is something that rival Premier League clubs have been doing for some time now.
The disastrous loans spells for Elias Sørensen, Jamie Sterry and Cal Roberts — resulting in all three of them being recalled yesterday due to lack of playing time — highlights the urgency of bringing in a specialist who can liaise between Rafa and clubs interested in borrowing the youngsters.
The Magpies have acted quickly to prevent a repeat of the trios’ dreadful experience, and will give Rafa one less problem to deal with on a day to day basis.
The impending arrival of the “Loan Player Coordinator”, as reported in the Newcastle Chronicle, along with two other key roles behind the scenes, is could save the club millions if it helps to develop more youth players into first team contenders.
More importantly, this must be seen as the clearest indication yet that Mike Ashley is willing to give Rafa the things he has been pleading for, in order to commit his long-term future to the club.
Revamping the academy — along with a written guarantee of a budget for each transfer window — was one of the main sticking points for Benitez, and heeding his warnings on the need to do so will have much more sway with the Spaniard than the promise of a marquee signing which was rumoured earlier in the week.
The stand-off between the club and manager has been in place for months, and these recent developments surely suggest that it is Ashley who has blinked first.
Fans, who are desperate for positive news regarding their manager’s situation, will be hoping so, and if the club are serious about trusting Rafa, then a new contract could be signed sooner, rather than later.
We think the signs coming out of the club in dribs and drabs are means for optimism for Toon fans, and that a happy ending me be in touching distance.
What do you think Newcastle fans? Are you feeling more confident that Rafa will stay? Let us know below…