Nearly every single Newcastle United supporter would love for Rafa Benitez to make a heroic return to the club, myself included. But, it’s important for the Toon Army to lower their expectations of that possibility.
Even before today, fans were hoping their dream would come true and Rafa would come back to Tyneside. Now, the beloved Spanish manager is a free agent. He departed Dalian Pro by mutual consent due to concerns with COVID-19.
With Benitez officially back on the market, fans are hoping that he will soon takeover for Steve Bruce on the touchline at St. James’ Park. But, why would Rafa return to save the club from the tailspin it finds itself in?
He left the club before the 2019-20 season when his contract was up and headed to China. A lot of his reasoning for not extending his time with Newcastle were related to Mike Ashley’s ownership.
Unfortunately, as all Newcastle fans know, Ashley’s reign over the club has not ended. Some will argue that Ashley could make promises to Rafa that things would be different. But, after he left, Benitez cited multiple times that the owner didn’t follow through on assurances made to him. So, why would Rafa return expecting anything to go differently this time around? Also, the pandemic has made finances in soccer even more uncertain, likely making it even more difficult to do business under Ashley.
Obviously, Benitez’s love for the club is no secret. If a takeover had be completed, the chances of a return would be exponentially higher. While the odds aren’t bad for a return for Rafa, Newcastle fans need to be realistic about how likely it is that he would actually come back to the club to work under Ashley.