There’s never a dull moment at the Cathedral On The Hill these days is there?

Newcastle United continue to undergo rapid change under the stewardship of Rafa Benitez.

There has been a significant clearout of deadwood from the poor quality squads assembled by previous managers Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren, and an influx of nine new players so far, with another two or three to come.

One of those prospective players seems likely to be Achraf Lazaar, a moroccan left-back currently plying his trade with Palermo in Italy.

Whilst bolstering our options at left back, the 24 year old can also play on the left side of midfield and would be a very useful signing.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Cheltenham came at a cost.

Both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle will miss Saturday’s home game against Brighton & Hove Albion following concussion suffered in the EFL Cup match.

This has been confirmed by a statement on the Official Newcastle United Website as follows:

Newcastle United can confirm that Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle will miss the Club’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, after both players suffered concussions during the Magpies’ midweek EFL Cup game against Cheltenham Town.

The Club is adhering to the FA’s Concussion Guidelines, which stipulate a phased ‘return to play’ protocol over a period of at least six days before players resume competitive football.

Paul Catterson, Newcastle’s head of sports medicine and science, said: “The treatment and management of concussion in sport has received deserved attention in recent years.

“We have to adhere to the guidelines set out by the FA in line with other competitive sports, which rightly puts the safety and health of players first.”

So we can only assume that Ayoze Perez will play up front on Saturday? There are other options, but Benitez seems to prefer the little spaniard, who can appear lightweight at times.

We shall see!

Also, a number of news outlets on the internet are suggesting that Arsene Wenger, current manager of Arsenal, is considering making a bid for United’s Chancel Mbemba. Apparently Arsenal have some injury problems at centre half and see Mbemba as a possible answer.

I’m sure they do! LOL!

But why would Mbemba, a first choice for United, want to move to the library to be a temporary solution to their problems, thereafter to be banished to the bench as soon as their first choices are fit again?

More to the point – and much more relevant, I think the Gooners would be given short shrift by Rafa, who will not want to let arguably our best defender depart at this stage of the rebuilding programme.

I think it’s more likey that Arsene will be told politely to “jog on” and look elsewhere!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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