Newcastle United manager, Rafa Benitez has admitted the club would have to reassess their transfer plans following the loss of three key players to injury in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford.
Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden and Vurnon Anita all suffered injuries during the game, but Gayle’s injury seems to give the coach much concern with Daryl Murphy left as the only fit striker. The 23 year old who opened scoring at Griffin Park with his 20th goal of the season- limped off the pitch with a hamstring problem. The club’s medical team is accessing the severity of the injuries suffered by the trio this week.
Asked if Gayle’s problem could mean the club has to sign another striker in the ongoing transfer market, Rafa said: “At the moment, I think we have to wait and speak to the doctors to analyze what we are faced with and see what we can do.” Benitez was already looking to sign a midfielder, either on loan or on a permanent deal, before he lost Hayden (groin) and Anita (ankle) against Brentford.
Responding to questions on the club’s effort in the transfer market, Benitez added: “We are working on that. The ideal situation would be to get the right players. We are working and seeing if we can do something this week.”
With rumours linking former club winger, Andros Townsend to a return to the Toon, Benitez must cobble together a team for Wednesday night FA cup replay against Birmingham City. Townsend, sold to Crystal Palace last summer for £13 million, has struggled for form at Selhurst Park.
Meanwhile reports claim that club owner, Mike Ashely wanted a more hands on role in the club’s recruitment. Ashely reinstated the controversial transfer policy, overseen by chief scout, Graham Carr, that was ditched after the arrival of Benitez, who oversaw last summer’s profitable trading.
The billionaire reportedly made the move after a series of meetings with the club’s hierarchy. Benitez however, was promised control of transfers when he committed himself to the club in the wake of relegation.