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FLORIAN LEJEUNE In contrast to Atsu a transfer that seemed to drag on and on according to the media, quite what the hold up was I am not sure as again the fee of £8.7 million was allegedly in his contract as a minimum fee release clause. A quick background research shows Lejeune has been around a bit (in a similar fashion to Atsu) albeit with far more starts to his name. At 6 foot 3 he will give us a bit more physical presence which will be needed in the Premier League, how he copes with that and also the pace of the game is something none of us can even pretend to know. There have been plenty of positive media reports on him and from his early preseason games, in which he has played as many minutes as anyone, it looks like the lad is comfortable on the ball. I would expect him to start the season opener and though many expect him to partner Lascelles at centre back, I would rather and

wouldn’t be surprised to see him partner Ciaran Clark. Rafa made quite a point last season to the balance of a left sided centre half like Clark playing, so I wonder if he sees Lejeune as an upgrade on Lascelles? JACOB MURPHY Another one similar to Lejeune, where his name had been mentioned in the media for some time and the deal seemed to take an age to do. This has been one part of Rafas frustration this transfer window the fact that some deals have taken far to long for his liking, and as he confirmed at the informative and funny talk in at Nine bar with him last week, has resulted in us losing out on nearly all our top transfer targets. Read into that what you will. At just 22 and with 9 goals and 6 assists in his first full Championship season, Murphy undoubtedly has talent. Rafa was said to have been impressed by

Murphy in both his games for Norwich against us last season, but I also think this has a hint of Steve Nickson about it. Nickson has been made up from Under 21 scout to head of recruitment and was tasked with looking at players in this summers Euro 2017 Under 21 tournament in Poland. Muprhy like Atsu will offer competition in the wide areas, and also add more pace to a team that lacked in on the whole in the Championship, it’s a vital attribute in the Premier League. JAVIER MANQUILLO A deal that seemed to appear from nowhere and surprised a lot of people, including myself. When you think about it though, and going back to competition for places we are light in the Right Back area following the departure of Vurnon Anita to Leeds. All the mackems reckon he’s shite, funny that, their whole team

At just 22 and with 9 goals and 6 assists in his first full Championship season, Murphy undoubtedly has talent.

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True faith 132  

Newcastle United back in the Premier League with Rafa Benitez serenely assembling his squad for the new challenges and receiving every possi...