Rob Elliot might be the only Newcastle United player at St James’ Park to be thrilled with Rafa Benitez’s exit from the club.
Benitez is now officially a free agent after his contract with the Magpies expired at the end of last week and the Spaniard’s exit has been met with widespread anger towards Mike Ashley from the club’s supporters.
There is no doubt that many of the club’s players are also gutted to see the back of Benitez, especially as he did so well to drag the team back in the Premier League and secure two survivals in a row despite Ashley’s reluctance to spend much money on improving the squad.
However Elliot, 33, might be the only player at St James’ Park that was pleased to see Benitez go.
According to the Chronicle, Benitez put Elliot on the transfer list in January and after failing to offload the Irish goalkeeper in the winter, the ex-Newcastle boss “ostracised” him and even forced him to train with the Under-23s.
Elliot failed to make a single appearance for Newcastle last season and only featured on the bench on one occasion when he was named as an unused substitute against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup back in August.
It is understood that Elliot is happy with life in the North-East and would prefer to stay put at Newcastle, so his chances of remaining on the books at St James’ Park – at least until his contract expires in a years time – could be improved by Benitez leaving.
The Chronicle adds that if Freddie Woodman or Karl Darlow leave Newcastle then Elliot may find himself back in the first team squad to serve as back-up to number one Martin Dubravka.
If Benitez had signed a new deal then Elliot would more than likely be shipped out for next to nothing.
However with someone new set to arrive on Tyneside now that Benitez has gone, Elliot will surely be crossing his fingers and hoping that the Spaniard’s successor sees a future for him at the club.