Why Rafa Benitez Feels He Needs to Bring in an Experienced Goalkeeper This Summer
Rafa Benitez already has four senior goalkeepers on his books, so why does he feel the need to sign another?
Benitez reportedly wants an experienced Premier League goalkeeper, despite having Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow, Tim Krul and Freddie Woodman already at his disposal.
Newcastle have most recently been linked with West Ham's Adrian, but Benitez also inquired about the availability of Darren Randolph, Willy Caballero and Pepe Reina earlier in the window.
The reasoning behind wanting to sign a new first choice goalkeeper, will be unclear to some with both Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot showing their quality over the last two seasons.
Darlow has been very good for the Magpies this pre-season, making some fantastic saves, however Benitez reportedly doesn't view him as good enough and is willing to listen to offers, if he can sign a new face.
Elliot remains in Benitez's plans, however his search for an experienced keeper is most likely down to wanting a leader at the back.
New signing Florian Lejeune is still settling in and despite Lascelles being club captain he is young and inexperienced at Premier League level.
Bringing in a vocal keeper that knows exactly what he and the manager want will be vital and will also help keep Newcastle's back-line organised this season.
Having a reliable goalkeeper also gives the defenders in front of him confidence that they can play back to their keeper and trust him to make a stop if they slip up.
This will be vital for Newcaslte's inexperienced and young defence which at times looked shaky last season, even when senior figures such as Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummet played.
Another key trait that an experienced Premier League goalkeeper will bring to Newcastle is the ability to develop other keepers at the club.
Although Elliot is now 31-years-old he doesn't have the Premier League experience and knowledge that Benitez needs in order to improve the other keepers at the club.
Benitez will want a new goalkeeper to teach youngsters in the academy, as well as Freddie Woodman, some tricks of the trade in order to build for the future.
Furthermore Benitez has already stated that he wants a goalkeeper that can provide healthy competition with Rob Elliot for the number one spot:
“The main thing for Rob Elliot is to be fit, he is training hard after playing the final three games of last season," claimed Benitez to The Chronicle.
“He is a good goalkeeper but I want him to compete."
“You can’t have players that think this is easy because they are the only one in that position.”
Whether or not Benitez will be able to lure Adrian to St James' is still to be seen. However, Benitez clearly wants another goalkeeper, with it likely that both Tim Krul and Karl Darlow will be allowed to leave, while Freddie Woodman will be sent out on loan.