Toon did not take the chance to spend... now they are pay­ing


The Chronicle - - Nufc - By Lee Ry­der Chief Sports Writer lee.ry­[email protected]­me­ @lee_ry­der

NOBBY Solano feels that New­cas­tle United’s lack of in­vest­ment in the sum­mer trans­fer mar­ket has left Rafa Ben­itez in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion.

The Toon leg­end is not con­vinced the Jan­uary win­dow will solve all of the club’s prob­lems and feels the Mag­pies’ chance to bol­ster their squad and help se­cure sur­vival dis­ap­peared in Au­gust.

Ben­itez de­cided to stay on at New­cas­tle and used the lim­ited funds he had to bring in play­ers like Joselu and Javier Man­quillo.

But in re­cent weeks, the pit­falls of the de­ci­sion of United’s board to hold back funds are be­gin­ning to be­come ap­par­ent on the pitch.

Solano told the Chron­i­cle: “Rafa knew that this sea­son would be dif­fi­cult once the club didn’t spend the money they needed in the sum­mer.

“As soon as that hap­pened it would have been ob­vi­ous to him that the club’s main tar­get for the sea­son was to stay in the Premier League.

“I don’t think Jan­uary will be a mas­sive help to him, to be hon­est.

“He will have lit­tle money to spend and ex­actly who is avail­able that will bring in the right qual­ity in Jan­uary? There aren’t many op­tions out there at this time of year.

“It’s in June or July you build your squad and New­cas­tle didn’t do that.”

United go into the game against Le­ices­ter with teams like Burn­ley, AFC Bournemouth and Wat­ford ahead of them.

Solano said: “Maybe they (Le­ices­ter) haven’t spent crazy money, but they have spent a de­cent amount and they are proof of what you can achieve when you shop with a bit of am­bi­tion.

“You just hope that in the sum­mer that New­cas­tle spend well re­gard­less of who is run­ning the club.

“Then they can look to kick on, for now they are fight­ing to stay up.”

As well as two stints on Ty­ne­side that made him a Premier League star, Solano also ap­peared for the Foxes to­wards the end of his ca­reer.

The Peru­vian as­sis­tant man­ager said: “Both teams are look­ing for a win, but New­cas­tle need it more than Le­ices­ter.

“It will be dif­fi­cult and it’s a hard sea­son ahead. This will be an in­ter­est­ing game and Le­ices­ter are ca­pa­ble of com­ing at New­cas­tle if they want to.

“They are a good team and have been to­gether for a few years now af­ter win­ning the ti­tle.

“In that time New­cas­tle have changed play­ers and not spent too much. As I say, Rafa’s main tar­get this year is sim­ply to stay up.

“You look at last Satur­day’s game with Chelsea and you can’t even com­pare the two squads. One team was a £300m out­fit and the other made up of bar­gain play­ers.”

Solano will not be at St James’ Park this week­end but sev­eral for­mer stars will grace the pitch at half time as the club cel­e­brate 125 years since be­com­ing New­cas­tle United.

[Le­ices­ter] haven’t spent crazy money...they are proof of what you can achieve when you shop with a bit of am­bi­tion

The for­mer winger said: “I will al­ways re­mem­ber my time at New­cas­tle. My heart is still with the club and al­ways will be.

“It was a big part of my life. I was just proud to be part of it for so long and I will al­ways come back to the area.

“I hope all the New­cas­tle fans have a great day and they see their side get three points.”

Le­ices­ter spent £17m on Harry Maguire in the sum­mer while Ben­itez used lim­ited funds to bring in the likes of Joselu and Man­quillo

Rafa Ben­itez talks with his squad dur­ing train­ing yes­ter­day

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