Rafa Benitez reveals important characteristics to make it to the Premier League

Rafa Benitez


Rafa Benitez insists that in order to make it to the Premier League, players must need a positive attitude whether a player is good enough.

Newcastle signed six players during the last summer, but Benitez hoped to get more players in order to prepare his team to compete fiercely.

Instead, he needs to stick with the players he had and choose who would cut it in the Premier League.

Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden and Christian Atsu have already made the transition and Benitez also acknowledged their willingness to learn.

Rafa Benitez


“Quality is not just that they can pass, they can put the ball in the top corner or things like that. It’s about whether they can understand the game, and whether they have the margin to improve,” Benitez replied when asked how he determines whether he believes a player can make the step up from the second tier to the top flight.

“Some players you can see that, maybe, they can improve a lot, and others who you think are close to their maximum level. It’s something you have to consider.

“When we signed Hayden, he is a young player so he can improve.

“How much? We don’t yet know. It depends on him too – on how much he wants to learn, if he listens to you and pays attention to details in the training sessions. You have to feel that they want to.

“For example Atsu. Some people were saying at the beginning: ‘Oh Atsu, why will we keep Atsu?’ But he is very cheap now, when you see the market he is very cheap, and you can see that he can improve.

Rafa Benitez


“Can he be at the level that we need for him to do ‘this’ or ‘that’? I don’t know, but he’s someone that you know has improved and will keep improving because he’s keen to learn.”

Benitez acknowledged that there are more rooms for his squad to develop and has already identified what areas his team needs to develop to get better.

“Then you have a lot of players, with it being a young squad, who can improve and get better. How much? It depends on each one individually,” Benitez added.

“I can give everyone the same message, and one player will receive the message in one way, but another in a different way.

“So it depends on your ability and whether you understand our idea and you will go and work with it. Some players will take 10 per cent of the message you give them, some 20, some 30.

“What you have to do is recognise, whether they are in the Championship or the Premier League, how much they can improve.

“You have to judge your players, you have to decide who can improve and what margin they have to improve.

“I wanted to do certain things in the market because in the Premier League you have less possession and what not, so you have to address these things.

“Attitude is the main attribute [in helping me decide].

“Game intelligence is important, but it is quite difficult to get that in any division at this time. But attitude is crucial if you want to improve. And after that, it’s important that you are buying the attributes of the players you need.”

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