Yesterday, out of the blue, it was revealed that Javier Manquillo was undergoing a medical prior to joining Newcastle United on a permanent transfer from Spanish Giants Athletico Madrid.
Manquillo, who is expected to be announced as a Newcastle player alongside Jacob Murphy, was on loan at a Sunderland side which finished bottom of the Premier League last season, and as a result, the news of his impending arrival split Newcastle United fans down the middle. Surely he should be given a chance before being judged?
After all, Rafa Benitez also signed a defender from the side which had finished bottom of the Premier League at the beginning of the triumphant Championship season in the name of Ciaran Clark, who turned out to be an absolute steal and one of our most important players.
Here, we take a look at Javier Manquillo’s career and what he may offer to a Newcastle United side about to embark on its first season back in the big time.
Manquillo began his youth career at one of Benitez’s former clubs, Real Madrid, alongside his twin brother in 2004 where he stayed for three years before signing for their city rivals, Atletico.
Manquillo has remained at Atletico Madrid ever since, with several stints away from the club on loan taking place between 2014 and 2017.
Another one of Benitez’s former clubs, Liverpool, took Manquillo on a two-year loan deal in 2014 as he was being tipped for big things and wanted by a host of Premier League clubs.
However after the first year of the deal, and ten league appearances later, Manquillo’s contract was mutually terminated and he was sent back to Athletico Madrid without really being given the chance to make an impression.
Another reputable club, Marseille, came calling when Atleti once again made him available for loan. Javier went on to play 43 games for the club and impressed whilst he was there but again returned to his parent club as Marseille decided against making the move permanent due to financial constraints.
Manquillo then decided a spell in the North East of England would benefit him and he arrived at the Stadium of Light to play for Sunderland.
As has been well publicised, this Sunderland side was one of the worst performing, and managed, teams in Premier League history and not too much can be taken from Manquillo’s time there as there were very few players which impressed.
Manquillo is not an ‘exciting’ signing as such but Rafa Benitez had made the Newcastle board aware he wanted full-back cover and Manquillo could be perfect for this role.
At 23, the Spaniard has more than enough time to learn and improve, just as Ciaran Clark and DeAndre Yedlin have done, which could see him fighting for a starting spot in Benitez’s defence either on the left or right-hand side.