Newcastle United’s new manager will have little time, but plenty of work to do when he arrives in July.
The search for a new manager continues six days after Newcastle United announced the departure of Rafa Benitez on their social media pages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Players will return to training camp on July 4th with more questions than answers. According to most reports, the shortlist of primary candidates for the managerial vacancy consists of Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard and Mikel Arteta, as well as multiple other managers who are being considered as fall-back options.
Newcastle United have no choice but to contact, interview and select a new manager over the next few days. The manager that is selected will have their work cut out for them as they will have little time to adapt to the team, assess the roster and prepare the team for the pre-season tournament in China, which begins on July 17th. That being said, here are three important decisions the new manager must make shortly after he arrives on Tyneside.
The very first issue that the new manager must address is what he wants to do with returning players. Rafa Benitez already had his mind made up, but a new manager will want to see players like Jack Colback, Achraaf Lazaar, Henri Saivet and Rolando Aarons in action to determine their quality level and whether or not they would fit his style of play. Assessing these players could very well further delay the club’s transfer activity, so these players need to leave quite the early impression at the start of training camp to save their Newcastle United careers.
Will he stay or will he go? That is the key question everyone on Tyneside is asking. Perez was the club’s leading score for the second consecutive season after finding the back of the net on 12 occasions last season. His good form has attracted the attention of multiple clubs in Spain and Italy, and a recent report claims that he is keen to join Valencia in La Liga after Benitez’s departure was announced.
That could change depending on who the replacement manager will be, but the new gaffer has to decide whether he will be okay with Perez leaving or if the Spaniard will be an integral player for what he wants to do at Newcastle United. If it is the latter, he must do his best to persuade Perez to stay, but if not he must act even quicker to find a quality replacement in the transfer market.
It is unclear what the transfer policy will be now that Benitez is gone, but recent reports seem to indicate that the new manager will not have the final say on transfers. As unfortunate as that sounds, one major asset that the Magpies do have is Steve Nickson – the club’s head of recruitment. Nickson is the one who added players like Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar and Miguel Almiron to the club’s target list and they have become top players in a short amount of time.
Benitez’s replacement must develop a close working relationship with Nickson as soon as he walks through the door because the transfer window closes a week earlier this summer compared to last year. Of course the new manager will have his own transfer targets in mind, but he needs to lay those options out on the table immediately so the club can avoid more delays while other league rivals have already started improving their rosters.