Ex-Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez inadvertently helped Magpies seal Targett deal

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It took until Transfer Deadline Day for Newcastle to land a left-back.

Aston Villa’s Matt Targett is only 26 years of age and remains a solid enough defensive addition.

Still yet to reach his prime as a player, he could have his best years ahead at St. James’ Park.

Incredibly, that precise scenario could be down to former Newcastle manager, Rafael Benitez.

The Spaniard was revered on Tyneside and the Toon Army would love to have seen him return, which he may well have done were it not for Mike Ashley.

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In any event, it appears that Benitez inadvertently set off a chain of events which, ultimately, ended with Targett’s arrival at the Magpies.

Earlier in the window, it’s believed that Eddie Howe had targeted Lucas Digne as a possible addition for the left-side of his defence.

Rafael Benitez

The Frenchman, Everton’s most creative player this season before his departure, only ended up leaving the Toffees because of a fall out with Benitez.

In the end, Howe wasn’t successful in being able to take Digne to Tyneside, but his signing for Aston Villa had immediate repercussions for Matt Targett.

New Villa manager, Steven Gerrard, installed Digne as his number one choice in the position and it completely marginalised Targett, who hasn’t played since the former’s arrival.

That left Targett with a decision to make in this window if he wanted to carry on playing this season, hence the late switch to St. James’ Park.

More Stories Lucas Digne Matt Targett rafa benitez Rafael Benitez Steven Gerrard