Rafa Benitez fears he is already walking an injury tightrope at Newcastle despite making seven summer signings

Toon centre-back Florian Lejeune will miss most of the season after tearing a cruciate knee ligament in pre-season.

And USA right-back DeAndre Yedlin left St James’ Park on crutches with another knee problem after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham.

Boss Benitez signed seven players in the summer, adding Federico Fernandez from Swansea on deadline day as a replacement for Lejeune.

Yet he failed in a bid to land another full-back and now fears his squad lacks adequate cover.

The Spaniard said: “We have our squad and if we do not have injuries we can manage.

“To lose Lejeune was not ideal and we will have to see what happens with DeAndre.

“Positions we were looking at in defence were the centre-back and the left full-back.

“But we couldn’t find the left full-back we were looking for.

"Of course, Javier Manquillo can play on either side but he is a right footer so we wanted to sign someone with experience in the Premier League. Is it ideal? No.”

Toon were unlucky not to nick a point as Mo Diame and Salomon Rondon both hit the woodwork against Spurs.

But Benitez reckons he would need another SIX new players to compete with the North Londoners at the top end of the table.

He added: “We have players where they can do it sometimes. But the next step is people who can make this happen every week — and that is what they have.”


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