Burnley midfielder Steven Defour has backed former teammate Chancel Mbemba to succeed at FC Porto. The 23-year-old has been heavily tipped to leave Newcastle United to join Porto this summer and Defour, who previously played with him at Anderlecht, believes he could make a huge mark with the PrimeiraLiga outfit.
He said: “Mbemba is a tough defender in the individual marking, he is a fast player who has passing quality and who risks going out to play from the defence, he has a good aerial game, he has talent and qualities to impose on FC Porto. I think he just could not stay at Newcastle, because they made him play right-back, a position that is not his. It was a shame. He is strong from the mental point of view and knows what he wants. He has the ability to impose himself in a club like FC Porto.”
Continue reading Steven Defour backs Chancel Mbemba’s move to Newcastle United
Newcastle United head coach Rafael Benitez has admitted that Fernando Torres could be an attractive summer option for the club, though he is unclear whether the veteran would prefer a return to the Premier League. Torres built a reputation for himself during his top-flight stints with Liverpool and Chelsea, and Benitez had the opportunity to work with the Spaniard at both of those clubs.
In an interview with Marca, Benitez was quizzed about the possibility of a reunion with Torres this summer to which he replied: “I think it will be harder for him to come, not because we don’t want to. I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but maybe he is thinking about something else. It would be attractive, but Idon’t think it would be easy. At Liverpool he was sensational. Then he went to Chelsea and, although he had a bad time when he arrived, he was essential for us in winning the Europa League.”
Continue reading Rafael Benitez reacts to Fernando Torres speculation
United States international DeAndre Yedlin has backed Rafael Benitez to be a contender for the manager of the month after helping the Magpies beat the drop. The Tyneside were promoted from the Championship as champions last season but their chances of survival looked bleak early on with owner Mike Ashley reluctant to spend in the transfer market.
Despite this, Benitez has managed to motivate his squad through the season and a couple of loan signings in January have made a defining mark during the second half of the campaign. In a report covered by ESPN, Yedlin was pleased to have secured Premier League safety with the Magpies and insists that Benitez has had a big role to play. Continue reading DeAndre Yedlin Lauds Rafael Benitez After Retaining Premier League Status
Arsenal favourite Ian Wright has hailed Kenedy’s decision to join Newcastle United on loan midway through the campaign. The Brazilian failed to make a single Premier League appearance for Chelsea this term, and this urged him to pursue a temporary deal with the Magpies, where he has thrived of late.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Wright was complimentary about Kenedy’s choice, and believes he would have done the same, had he failed to cement a regular role with a top-six club, he said: “For me, Newcastle is the kind of place that, if you’re a young player at a club like a Chelsea or a Manchester City, I would do anything to get to somewhere like Newcastle. You’re playing in front of massive crowds and you’ve got the opportunity to play in the Premier League and get that kind of support behind you. Kenedy has done it – and he’s thriving on it, absolutely thriving on it.”
Continue reading Ian Wright Hails Kenedy’s Decision To Join Newcastle United
Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has revealed his desire to prolong his stay with Newcastle United beyond the summer. The 29-year-old joined the Magpies on a short-term loan from Sparta Prague in January, and he has since commanded a regular role between the sticks. As a result, there has been talk of him sealed a permanent move to St James Park, and Dubravka shares a similar opinion on the situation.
In a recent interview, Dubravka admitted that his future could depend on the Magpies’ Premier League status next term, he said: “Everything depends mainly on how the team finishes in the top flight or whether we stay in it. In my opinion, it will also affect my future in the club. I will continue to focus on getting as many points as possible and thus avoiding relegation. I think Newcastle will be in the Premier League, and then a permanent transfer will be possible. But as I said, I’m focusing exclusively on my performance at the moment.” Continue reading Martin Dubravka Open To Permanent Newcastle United Stay
Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles is confident that Newcastle United will preserve their Premier League status beyond the current campaign. The centre-back, who has been influential towards the Magpies’ upturn in form, believes the presence of Rafael Benitez gives the squad the added confidence over their relegation rivals.
The Magpies are currently just two points clear of the relegation zone after throwing away a two-goal lead against Bournemouth in the final 10 minutes of the game. Despite that, Newcastle’s form has vastly improved over the past few weeks, and a victory over Manchester United earlier in the month has given the club fresh belief in their relegation battle.
Continue reading Jamaal Lascelles confident Newcastle United will beat the drop
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly waiting on Chelsea’s decision on Kenedy as he looks to bolster the club’s defence during the winter transfer window. The Brazilian has sparingly been used by Antonio Conte this term with most of his gametime coming in the Cup competitions.
According to Chronicle Live, Benitez is looking to do business with his former club with Kenedy identified as a potential recruit, who could strengthen their chances of Premier League survival. However, any kind of deal is yet to be sorted out with the Blues with Conte reluctant to lose Kenedy for the moment.
Continue reading Rafael Benitez waiting on Chelsea’s decision on Kenedy
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba must show a lot of consistency over several years in order to be regarded in the same breath as Steven Gerrard, according to Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard had years of experience of managing the Liverpool midfielder, who is arguably one of the best in the Premier League of the recent generation. Paul Pogba may have joined United for a then-world record £ 90 million transfer fee, but he has split public opinion since then. There have been good performances from the Frenchman, but they have been for a few between.
In order to be regarded as a success in the Premier league, consistency is the key, according to Benitez. After having spent a couple of years at ways clubs like Napoli, Benitez returned to English football with Newcastle. Despite relegation from the top division, Benitez helped the club get promotion straight away. Since the return to the top flight, Newcastle have been relatively comfortable but the team lost 4-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford. It turned out to be with customary defeat at the hands of the Red Devils – even with Benitez on board. During his days at Liverpool, Benitez had an intense rivalry with United. It was largely due to the title challenge that both teams were facing. Now, however, both clubs are at different ends of the spectrum.
Continue reading Pogba Must Show a Lot of Consistency to Match Gerrard, Claims Benitez
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has set his sights on Premier League survival following back-to-back defeats versus Burnley and Bournemouth. The Magpies made a swift start on their top-flight return, and they were at one stage sixth in the Premier League standings. However, recent 1-0 defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth has dropped them to 11th in the standings, and Benitez is now focused on his job of avoiding relegation.
He said: “My message very simple, especially after losing. My message has to be clearer and stronger: just stick together. It’s very simple and very clear. We were relegated two years ago, then we were promoted, which was a massive achievement to do it first time. Now we must realise the target is to stay in the Premier League, be sure that we are strong enough to do that.”
Continue reading Rafael Benitez sets his target for Newcastle United
Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher believes Rafa Benitez is unlikely to remain in-charge at Newcastle United for a lengthy period of time.
The Spanish manager took over the managerial reigns in the final months of the 2015/16 campaign but was unable to keep them in the Premier League.
Despite this, he penned a fresh three-year contract with the Tyneside outfit with owner Mike Ashley assuring him that he would spend every penny from his pocket to rebuild the squad. The Magpies have since returned to the top-flight via their 2016/17 Championship winning campaign, but there are still uncertainties over Benitez’s stay at St. James’ Park.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Monday Night Football, Carragher said: “If I’m being totally honest, I don’t expect to see Rafa Benitez at Newcastle over a sustained, long period of time. I think eventually something will happen with him and the owner and unfortunately for Newcastle this is not going to be a happy and long marrige. So enjoy it while he’s here.”
Benitez and Ashley are said to have developed a strained relationship in recent months after the Spaniard felt he was not supported enough in the transfer market. The Magpies could not negotiate deals for their preferred targets during the summer transfer window, and this appears to have frustrated the former Liverpool boss. Continue reading Jamie Carragher believes Rafa Benitez will leave Newcastle United soon