Yesterday it was confirmed that Jacob Murphy, an England Under-21 international from Norwich City, had signed for the Magpies for a reported £12m.
The talented young winger will add much-needed flair and pace to the team offering another dimension for Benitez to utilise in the Premier League. It seems to be one Murphy in and one Murphy out though with Nottingham Forrest launching a £2m bid and offering a lucrative two year deal for experienced striker Daryl Murphy.
The singing of Daryl Murphy on the 28th of August 2016 was underwhelming for a lot of fans. The striker was 34 and commanded a £4m transfer fee – the signing was a stark reality that Newcastle had been relegated; it certainly wasn’t an exciting prospect. Benitez had chosen Murphy for a reason though. He was an experienced player that knew the championship managing to net 67 goals in 225 appearances over five years at Ipswich Town.
What maybe Benitez didn’t expect was the professionalism of the striker. Murphy understood he had a squad role at St. James’s Park and always trained immaculately, patiently waiting for his chance. He may have made more appearances in the black and white, however, Dwight Gayle was in unstoppable form and the number 9 lead the line for most of the season. Murphy’s patience was finally rewarded and the striker got his chance with Gayle being sidelined through a reoccurring hamstring injury.
Not only was Murphy a brilliant role model he scored vital goals. He played a big role in ensuring the clubs immediate return to the top flight scoring five goals in seven Championship starts and eight sub appearances. A late winner at Brentford stands out among the rest. Ayoze Perez received the ball on the left wing and played a beautiful, teasing ball from the outside of his foot. The ball was met by a glancing header, with Murphy expertly placing it into the bottom right corner. Murphy got his goal, 1600 travelling fans went into meltdown and the black and whites were back at the top of the league. We all know the rest. Champions.
So thank you Daryl Murphy. A proven goal scorer, a model pro and even after only one season and limited game time a firm fan favourite.