Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is keen to put the summer transfer window behind him and focus on finishing as high as possible in the Premier League.
Benitez saw seven new players arrive at St James’ Park over the summer, however, in today’s market to buy the best players big money must be spent and Newcastle’s most expensive signing in the transfer window was Yoshinori Muto from Mainz for €10m (£9m).
The club-record transfer fee at St James’ Park remains the £16m spent on former England striker Michael Owen 12 years ago and the general consensus among supporters is that owner Mike Ashley is failing to back the squad sufficiently in the transfer market.
Despite this, Benitez has been in bullish mood in his first press conference of the season and, ahead of their home game against Tottenham on Saturday, he had this to say when asked to comment on the club’s transfer activity: “I’m sure fans will think, ‘Oh Rafa is angry’. But I try to improve my team during the window, but that is over.
“Could it be better? Yes, always it could be better, but I am happy with my team, I believe the spirit is there with my players to have another good season
“I have to do the best for my players. We have finished the transfer window, so now I must focus on Spurs which will be a very difficult game.
“I am really calm now as the window is finished. It is the time to do what we did last year: togetherness with fans behind us.”
The Magpies finished 10th in the league last season in their first year back in the top flight, which was widely considered to be a huge achievement for the team and a job well done by the manager.
Benitez’s own future has been in the spotlight, but he is keen to focus on matters on the pitch, rather than potential talks over a new contract.
“I will try to do my best every day,” he continued. “I want to stay, but now is not the time to talk. We have to focus on football. If we need to talk about an extension, we can do at some point. But I am focused on the team & finishing as high up the table as possible”
The former Real Madrid head coach also stated that he was happy with the players that he had managed to bring in before the window closed and thinks that the team can still be successful this year, adding: “We are better now than we were at the start of the week. Fernandez is a good signing because we needed someone. Rondon, too. I am confident we can do well and can succeed. We did some of the stuff we had to do.”