It has been somewhat of a torrid time for Newcastle fans over the last few years, after seeing a takeover attempt collapse, witnessing Rafael Benitez leave as manager, and then simply just existing in the Premier League.
There hasn’t been too much to get excited about on the transfer front either, however, the addition of Callum Wilson last summer and Allan Saint-Maxim the season before have represented two pieces of encouraging business.
With the opening of the transfer window imminent, it has seen the Tyneside club being linked to Benfica star Rafa Silva, who has been an integral force for the Lisbon-based side in recent years and who Newcastle tried to sign last summer.
According to the Sunderland Echo, the 28-year-old is being regarded as a ‘priority’ signing for the Magpies this summer, and a bid of £30 million is understood to be being readied for a player who has impressed at Euro 2020 for Portugal.
Silva plies his trade on the wing for Benfica and can add a much-needed upgrade in quality for Newcastle. Having scored nine goals and laid on 10 assists in all competitions this season, during the 2019/2018 campaign; the last full season when fans were admitted, he notched 17 goals in 26 league games for the Portuguese side.
How can Silva fit in at Newcastle?
A player who is perfectly suited to a counter-attacking style of play, Silva can be a significant catalyst if he were to join the North-East club. While smart recruitment is undoubtedly important this summer for owner Mike Ashley, keeping hold of star players is also just as crucial.
Saint-Maxim has proved over the last couple of seasons that he can become a quality player, while Wilson is simply indispensable. If Silva can form a good understanding with this duo, then Newcastle fans just might be able to dream of Europa League nights on Tyneside once more.
While Silva will no doubt be an exciting signing, the club definitely needs to recruit elsewhere if they are to at least cement a mid-table finish next season. There are rumours that they are eyeing up Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, who could add much-needed to steel their midfield and complement the possible signing of Silva.
Adapting might be the biggest problem for Silva though. It is no secret that the weather in Newcastle is somewhat considerably colder than the rest of England, while compared to the temperature in Portugal, Silva might just find this hard to adjust to.
The ‘second coming’?
For those old enough, you can be forgiven for thinking that this has shades of ‘deja vu’ about it. The last Portuguese player to appear for Newcastle was Hugo Viana, who joined the club for £8.5 million as a 19-year-old under boss Sir Bobby Robson in 2002.
Arriving from Sporting Lisbon with a lot of expectation on his shoulders, Viana flattered to deceive and struggled to adapt to Premier League football, scoring just four goals during his Magpies career.
However, Silva is older and having learned under legendary coach Jorge Jesus, will be confident that he can adequately ply his trade in the English top flight.
Alan Potter is a man who loves football, and has been following the sport for as long as he can remember. He spent five years at Winnersports.co.uk before joining CasinoSites.org in 2021 to cover sports there exclusively. Alan’s family consists of two girls and one boy whom he adores dearly, even though they’re always getting into trouble!