Rafael Benitez takes responsibility for under-performing Newcastle United signings

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has admitted that he made mistakes in the club's recruitment of players last summer.

The 56-year-old brought in 12 new signings ahead of the club's Championship campaign, where naturally some have endured better season than others.

The likes of Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, DeAndre Yedlin, and possibly even Isaac Hayden have been the pick of the buys.

But unfortunately for recruits such as Matz Sels, Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar and Jesus Gamez, they have rarely got a look-in for Benitez's starting 11.

Making mistakes - Benitez

Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Benitez told of how "you make mistakes" when you recruit players.

“It’s not like buying a piece of furniture and you say ‘I put that here’ and that is it. They have families, they have to be comfortable and in football you can only play 11 players – not the 27 that we have.” Benitez said.

Benitez said in his own book 'Champions League Dream' that rotation "can be very useful" and it "can keep everyone on their toes," but as the season has progressed, Benitez has begun to discover his most trusted starting 11, leaving some players beginning to feel unhappy.

“People who are not involved cannot be happy all of the time,” admitted Benitez.

Sels has faded away from the Magpies' first-team with Rob Elliot returning from injury and frustrations for Hanley, Gamez and Lazaar are likely to increasing as the trio have only made four league starts between them this season.

The three players have seen much of their of their game-time come in cup games - 13 appearances in total, involving the FA Cup and League Cup.

But with Newcastle's involvement in the cups ending at the end of January, that has meant limited opportunities for the club's fringe players, which is why the disappointment of being out the team is taking its toll.

"We have managed to keep the majority of them happy for a long, long time. Everyone has to accept they might not play but if we do well we will be successful together,” said Benitez.

VAVEL Logo