Newcastle United are stuck in an unenviable rut at the bottom of the table with little sign of resurrection to note, but with Rafa Benitez in charge they have every chance of repeating their heroics from last season.
Indeed, it’s not only Rafa Benitez’s tactical approach and impressive man management skills which will help Newcastle beat the drop this season, it’s the prestige of his name.
Newcastle’s summer window provided a fresh chapter in the ongoing tale of Mike Ashley’s jarring prudence, but with the Magpies struggling desperately at the foot of the table it’s likely that he will need to shift his attitude in January to transform his club’s fortunes.
With that being said, Ashley should be working in conjunction with Benitez to identify a handful of players to target in January, and a recent report from Goal suggests that another raid on Chelsea should be on the agenda.
The report claims that Victor Moses is considering his future at Stamford Bridge after being exiled under Maurizio Sarri this season.
Moses was a key player under Antonio Conte in a right-wing-back role, but the switch to a more traditional 4 at the back system which has arrived in tandem with Sarri’s appointment has left him surplus to requirements.
Without the flair and potency to rival the likes of Pedro and Willian for a starting berth, Moses has played just 26 minutes of Premier League football under the Italian and it’s unlikely that he will play anything more than a bit-part role with the Blues this season.
The signing of Kenedy on a season-long loan deal will prevent Ashley from trying one of his old tricks due to Premier League restrictions, but Moses’ rapidly diminishing importance in west London should bring his price-tag down to an appealing level.
The 38-cap Nigeria international would bring a wealth of experience along with a forward-thinking dynamism which currently eludes Newcastle’s attacking players.
With the ability to drive at defenders with the ball at his feet and pick out a physically commanding centre-forward, such as Solomon Rondon, with tantalising crosses into the box, Moses could have a similar impact to the one Kenedy had on Tyneside last season and make the difference between relegation and survival.
It’s a move which Moses will have his reservations about, but Benitez’s presence might just make all the difference in negotiations if Newcastle decide to pursue his signature in the mid-season window.
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