By 90Min
July 24, 2017

​Newcastle United manager Rafael Benítez has explained why he chose to purchase right-back Javier Manquillo from Atlético Madrid. 

The signing of the 23-year-old has drawn derision from fans of the Toon, as the former Spanish Under-21 player performed abysmally during a loan spell for Sunderland last season - a campaign that saw the club relegated to the Championship.

Speaking following his side's 1-1 pre-season friendly draw against Preston North End, via the Shields Gazette, Benítez addressed the reasons behind the signing that had furrowed and raised so many brows across the North-East City on Friday:

"With Javier he can play in both full back positions, and we needed the cover the right full back. He has to improve from last season, we know, but he is a player who has the potential. Once he’s trained properly, and understands what we do, he can be a good addition".

Benítez evidently sees Manquillo as being a useful acquisition for his side, who offers the team much-needed flexibility should an injury crisis occur. 

Previous first-choice right-back Vurnon Anita joined Leeds United earlier in the month, meaning that DeAndre Yedlin is now the club's first-choice right-back heading into the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

Manquillo will have to up his game following his performances for Sunderland last season - being part of a defensive unit who enraged the Black Cats' fans with a series of abject performances. 

The former Liverpool loanee has expressed his happiness at playing under Benítez, and Toon fans will de desperate for the manager to get the best out of the player.

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Newcastle are yet to invest heavily in the summer transfer window, but have completed the signings of winger Jacob Murphy from Norwich City, Florian Lejeune from Eibar and Christian Atsu from Chelsea. 

Magpies fans will be praying that their side can re-establish themselves as a Premier League force, after bouncing back from relegation in the 2015/16 season.

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