Newcastle legend backs Rafa Benitez to remain manager despite frustrating summer

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer says he understands manager Rafa Benitez’s frustration at the club’s lack of activity in the transfer window this summer but believes the Spaniard will stay on as manager for at least another
season.

The club have made some signings this summer but fans were hoping for bigger name recruits ahead of the 2018/19 season.

There are just two days until the window closes and it looks as though there will not be any further additions to the Magpies’ squad.

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And Shearer, who played for his boyhood club between 1996-2006, voiced his concerns over the fans going into the new season but felt Benitez would not be driven away from the club just yet.

Speaking to talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham and Darren Gough at the Premier League launch event, Shearer said: “Rafa is obviously angry because he was promised he would be given all the funds that were generated to spend on the team and that hasn’t happened.

“I understand Rafa’s frustration totally and the fans’ frustration too.

“They work all week in Newcastle to spend their money and have a good time at the weekend. A good time is going to St James’s Park and seeing their team and being
loyal and being supportive and having hope but they haven’t had that.

“They have a top manager and that will give me hope that they can avoid relegation this year. To finish tenth last year was incredible.

“I do think Rafa will stick around because I think he lives in hope that someone will buy the football club. He realises the potential there. There are 52,000 fans at the stadium who care for that club. If nothing changes at the end of the season then I’m sure he will go.”

Although the Magpies ended up surviving relatively comfortably last term, they only scored just 39 goals in 38 league games.

Forwards Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto have come in to bolster Newcastle’s threadbare front line.

The club have also secured the permanent signing of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and the loan signing of Chelsea midfielder Kenedy – who spent the second half of last season on loan at St James’s Park.

Shearer added: “In Rondon what they’ve got is someone that works very hard, will ask questions and will run in behind.

“Hopefully he might be a bit freer at Newcastle because he has played in very restrictive systems at West Brom.

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“It was around about £3 or £4m for Dubravka and he made a huge difference. He paid that fee alone for the
performance against Manchester United when he was brilliant at St James’s Park. He almost single-handedly kept them at bay.

“In Kenedy they have someone who can travel with the ball, can drag the team forward. You need someone who
can carry that ball forward into the final third.”

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