Ex-Newcastle Boss Offers Verdict on Magpies' Lack of Transfer Activity So Far This Summer

Wednesday July 19th, 2017

​Graeme Souness has expressed his exasperation over Newcastle United's lack of transfer window activity so far this summer.

The former Magpies manager spoke to Alan Brazil's Breakfast Show on ​talkSPORT as he failed to offer an explanation as to why the promoted Premier League club had not managed to acquire as many new recruits as they had hoped for.

Newcastle have secured three new players so far in the opening three weeks of the window, but Souness admitted that many more needed to make their way to St.James' Park before the deadline with the current senior squad "not good enough" to survive an immediate return to the Championship.

He said: “He’s (boss Rafael Benitez) frustrated with the situation. I think Newcastle have to buy players. It’s a big football club, with a passionate support who are demanding.

“I don’t believe the group they have will be good enough to survive in the Premier League, the jump is enormous. I’m surprised there has been so little action so far.”

Benitez has managed to land a few targets in the close season, but the Spaniard has been left frustrated by his side's lack of progression in pursuing other arrivals.

Christian Atsu, who spent last season on loan at the North East club from Chelsea, has completed a £6.5m permanent move, while centre-back Florian Lejeune has arrived from Eibar for a fee worth around £8.5m.

Newcastle are also on the cusp of securing the signature of £12m-rated Norwich forward Jacob Murphy, but other possible targets have so far eluded Benitez.

The ex-Liverpool manager had hoped to be reunited with former Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina, but the veteran shot stopper is now being linked with a sensational move to Manchester City instead.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley (l) and Lee Charnley look on during the Sky Bet Championship title after the match between Newcastle United and Barnsley at St James' Park on May 7, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/GettyImages

Benitez only told reporters on Tuesday that owner Mike Ashley had to "keep his word" after the latter promised the 58-year-old "every last penny" he had to acquire new players at the end of last term.

Benitez was quoted in the ​Daily Mail saying: "When I had the meeting with Mike Ashley I was confident that we have the money available and the wages.

"Everything is in place to move forward. Hopefully Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do."


SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.