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Newcastle signing this 26-year-old Portuguese ace would be a smart move by Bruce – Agreed?

Why Newcastle United must sign Rafa Silva from Benfica this summer

Back in May 2019, Rafa Silva’s agent Antonio Araujo had claimed that Newcastle United were one of the clubs interested in signing the Benfica star (h/t The Chronicle). However, a deal didn’t materialise during the summer transfer window.

Rafa Silva, 26, enjoyed an exceptional last season with Benfica as he scored 21 goals and provided three assists in 44 games across all competitions, guiding the club to the league title. He also put in an impressive cameo performance for Portugal and helped his country beat the Netherlands in the Nations League final last year.

Benfica's Portuguese midfielder Rafa Silva (L) vies with Vitoria FC's Portuguese defender Artur Jorge during the Portuguese league football match between SL Benfica and Vitoria Setubal FC at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on April 14, 2019. (Getty Images)
Benfica’s Portuguese midfielder Rafa Silva (L) vies with Vitoria FC’s Portuguese defender Artur Jorge during the Portuguese league football match between SL Benfica and Vitoria Setubal FC at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on April 14, 2019. (Getty Images)

However, the 26-year-old’s productivity has decreased, with the attacker enduring an injury-hit campaign with Benfica. Yet, Silva has managed 9 goals and 6 assists in 25 appearances across all competitions so far.

As far as Newcastle United are concerned, they have struggled for the majority of the season under Steve Bruce. Scoring goals has been a problem for Bruce’s side despite the club breaking their transfer record by signing Joelinton from Hoffenheim before the start of the season.

Joelinton has scored just one league goal for Newcastle thus far, with the Brazilian striker having struggled to adapt to the demands of Premier League football.

Plus, Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto are yet to contribute a league goal this term. Gayle has never proven himself to be a reliable striker in the Premier League, while Carroll has struggled with injuries.

Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley FC at St. James Park on February 29, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)
Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley FC at St. James Park on February 29, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)

Thus, Bruce must prioritise signing a potent goalscorer during the summer transfer window. In addition, the Newcastle boss should also look to bring in a creative midfielder. To put things straight, he must plot a summer swoop for Benfica’s Rafa Silva.

Silva is basically a left-sided midfielder but he can play as a No.10, on the right flank or as a second striker. In fact, the Portuguese international has thrived as a second striker this term as he has scored four goals and an assist in six outings playing in that position. Such versatility would certainly come handy for Bruce, who can use him in different formations accordingly.

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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)

The 26-year-old has been a consistent supplier of goals and assists for Benfica over the last two seasons, with the attacker managing 35 goals and 20 assists in 135 appearances. Silva would bring quality to Bruce’s attack, whilst adding depth to the squad.

His presence can also bring healthy competition within the team and could be a good sign of improvement among the players. He could be the difference in the team if he is able to replicate the same form for the Magpies.

Verdict

Silva has proven himself in Portugal and is at the perfect age to make the jump to the Premier League. All in all, Newcastle must do everything in their powers to sign the Portuguese international from Benfica.

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