Rafa Benitez would keep Newcastle in the Premier League and help them avoid a relegation dogfight with the signing of Manchester City’s Jesus Navas.
Benitez guided the Toon back into the top flight of English football at the first attempt, and is set for a busy transfer window after already confirming his first signing in the form of a permanent deal for Chelsea’s Christian Atsu.
Here, This Is Futbol considers three reasons why winger Navas would be the perfect second recruit to be welcomed through the gates of St. James’ Park this summer.
Available on a free
The 31-year-old will leave Pep Guardiola’s side on a free transfer this summer as his current contract at the Etihad Stadium is set expire in five weeks’ time on June 30. City confirmed the Spaniard’s departure on their official Twitter account.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 25, 2017
Benitez will be looking to use his allocated transfer budget to the best of his ability, and bringing in Navas on a free transfer would help the 57-year-old preserve what resources he has to improve other areas of his squad.
Problem area despite Atsu signing
The Toon are currently lacking in depth on the flanks. Despite the signing of Ghana international Atsu, Benitez will be left with only two options out wide in the former Everton, Malaga and Bournemouth loanee as well as Matt Ritchie. Yoann Gouffran and Sammy Ameobi are set to leave Tyneside in just over a month, and bringing in top-quality additions out wide will be high on the agenda of Benitez in the window. With Navas now made available, Benitez must move quickly to ease his woes out wide as well as pulling off a major coup that could prove to be one of the bargains of the summer.
Premier League experience and winning mentality
Navas boasts both in abundance. With a Premier League title under his belt during his four-year spell with City since his move from La Liga side Sevilla, the experienced right-midfielder is known for his ability to reach the byline and deliver a dangerous cross for his side’s attackers to exploit. Making just 19 starts this season, Navas has provided City’s strikers with five assists in all competitions and that precision and creativity in the final third will be pivotal in a side that must take their chances in order to avoid the bottom three. Navas has created 25 goals in 123 Premier League appearances, and that ratio of more than one assist every five games will keep the Toon in the top flight.