Date: 7th June 2018 at 8:25am
Written by:

OPINION

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez will be looking to strengthen his squad in most areas this summer as he builds a squad capable of challenging for a European spot next season. 

One position where he may not necessarily prioritise a signing is central midfield, with Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame forging a brilliant partnership towards the end of 2017/18.

However, if you look behind those two, there is not much in the way of quality replacements, with Isaac Hayden clearly not up to scratch while Mikel Merino is yet to get going in England.

Benitez will therefore have to look for a new player in the middle this summer, and a golden opportunity has arisen for the Magpies as they look to add Premier League quality in the coming weeks.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Chelsea are willing to let Danny Drinkwater leave this summer after a disappointing first season in which the midfielder started just five league matches.

The newspaper claim that the Blues are ready to let the 28-year-old leave despite the identity of their manager being unclear this summer, and despite paying £30million for him just a year ago.

It is said that the club are even willing to consider a loan deal as they look to cut their losses on the former Leicester City star.

This is the perfect opportunity for Newcastle to strengthen their midfield next season, with Drinkwater offering vast Premier League experience.

His all-round ability will add a new dimension to the Toon midfield, with Shelvey’s passing and Diame’s combative play needing that balance alongside them.

Drinkwater also has experience of playing in a side competing in the top-half of the table, and his Premier League winners medal will bring a winning mentality to Tyneside.

The potential for a loan deal makes this one worth chasing for both Benitez and the Newcastle board, who are still looking stingy with money this summer.

It gives Benitez the chance to assess whether Drinkwater is a long-term option there, with the deal made far less risky for Mike Ashley and co.

It is the perfect deal for the Magpies this summer, and Benitez must move quickly to use his Chelsea contacts and secure Drinkwater before he is snapped up by one of their rivals.