If manager Rafael Benitez remains in charge of Newcastle United this summer then he will find find himself with plenty of work to do if he wants his team to be capable of meeting his own lofty ambitions.
The Spaniard feels that the Magpies are good enough to be competing for the ‘best of the rest’ title of seventh place in the Premier League. That shouldn’t be a problem for a club of Newcastle’s size, but he will need to upgrade his squad if that is to happen.
One of the areas that he absolutely must improve upon is right back – or right wing back- , where DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo have been tripping over each other in the battle to be first choice this season. The position has become a big headache for the Magpies boss.
The United States of America international has been Benitez’s main man for much of the season, but his poor form has seen Manquillo take over the starting spot in recent weeks.
The former Atletico Madrid man has been solid enough, but he’s not blown anyone’s hair back. So with that said, Benitez will surely be looking at the position and mulling a major upgrade this summer.
Somebody like Nathaniel Clyne for Liverpool or, more ambitiously, Norwich City’s Max Aarons would be ideal recruits who would instantly elevate this Newcastle team.
In the system that Benitez is employing at the moment he needs his wing backs to push on offensively but also be good enough to defend one-on-one’s successfully. He has that with Matt Ritchie on the left hand side, but neither Yedlin nor Manquillo are the most effective defenders.
It’s imperative, then, that the manager looks at the position as a matter of urgency this summer. If the team are to fulfil Benitez’s ambitions, they need more quality on the right hand side of defence.