Newcastle United are closing on the signing of Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid as per reports from Sky Sports, with the Spaniard having undergone a medical yesterday ahead of a proposed £4.5m move to St. James’ Park. The right-back spent the last season on loan at arch rivals Sunderland, the Black Cats who had to endur the pain of relegation from the Premier League.
Manquillo has a decent amount of Premier League experience in his locker having spent a brief time on loan at Liverpool some time ago while he featured consistently for Sunderland last season. Neither of the two loan spells was truly fruitful but given that he is young and just 23, his best days lie ahead of him and under the guidance of manager Rafael Benitez, the Spaniard could fulfill his promise.
Following Benitez’s triumph in the Championship last campaign, expectations are big from the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager in the Premier League. From a personal point of view, the 2005 Champions League winning manager has a lot of critics to answer to and therefore, it was always expected that Newcastle will be busy shopping during the summer. However, the Magpies are finding it extremely difficult to sign players.
However, the signing of Manquillo is a move that comes with plenty of risks. Over the years, he could not make his name at Atletico Madrid and did not enjoy much during either of his loan spells in England. His only impressive season was when he was at Olympique de Marseille in the 2015-16 campaign.
With Vurnon Anita having left the club and Jesus Gamez also having struggled to impress, Manquillo will be expected to compete with DeAndre Yedlin for a place in the starting XI at right-back slot. It remains to be seen how Benitez uses the player who could finally be able to reach his true potential.
Every signing comes with a decent amount of risk but with the transfer fee being on the lower side, it seems like a shrewd piece of business by Rafa. There are still a plenty of positions where the Magpies require additions and with Manquillo having been signed on the cheap, the manager could use the funds elsewhere.