Newcastle defend summer recruitment in joint statement

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Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United won just one of their five pre-season friendlies

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez, captain Jamaal Lascelles and chief Lee Charnley have defended their summer recruitment in a joint statement on the eve of their first game of the season.

Fabian Schar, Martin Dubravka, Salomon Rondon, Yoshinori Muto, Kenedy, Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez all joined prior to Thursday’s deadline.

However, fans plan to protest before Saturday’s opener against Tottenham.

“We have a better squad than the one that finished 10th last term,” it said.