Javier Manquillo opens up about Newcastle United exit and makes Rafa Benitez admission

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Rafa Benitez signed Javier Manquillo from Newcastle United seven years after initially taking him to Tyneside

Javier Manquillo has revealed Rafa Benitez was a key reason for his decision to join Celta Vigo last month.

Newcastle United offloaded the defender for a nominal fee a fortnight ago - ending his six-and-a-half-year association with the club. Manquillo arrived in 2017 and served as a utility man as the Magpies solidified their Premier League status.

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It was Benitez who brought his compatriot to Tyneside from Atletico Madrid and the two have reunited at Celta. The Sky Blues are struggling in La Liga and Benitez called upon Manquillo to patch up an underperforming squad that sit three points above the drop zone.

A run of just two wins from their previous 18 fixtures plunged Celta into a relegation fight but they earned a stunning 3-0 away victory at Osasuna on Manquillo’s debut. The former Newcastle man played 73 minutes - his first appearance this season - and credited Benitez as an influence for the move.

“I’ve always said it, the dressing room is a very humble dressing room,” Manquillo said about the welcome from his teammates. “They are making everything very easy for me. It’s true that I already knew the coach from Newcastle and that is easier to adapt to.

“For now, everything is very good and I hope it continues like this. The truth is that it couldn’t have (had a) better debut than this one. (I) only asked for the three points but look at what a more important victory by 0-3 so I’m very happy.”

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