Football: Newcastle need January signings, says Benitez

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere in action with Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie.
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere in action with Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Newcastle United will need to be active in the January transfer market, manager Rafa Benitez said on Saturday (Dec 16) after his side dropped into the Premier League relegation zone with a 1-0 defeat away to Arsenal.

Newcastle have now lost eight of their past nine Premier League matches, including all of the past four, and sit 18th in the standings, one point adrift of 17th-placed Stoke City.

Newcastle missed out on key targets such as striker Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Willy Caballero during a frustrating summer in the transfer market and Benitez hopes the club can enjoy more success in the January window.

"We need to be competitive like today and keep going," the Spaniard told the BBC.

"We are a young team. When you're not winning, you lose confidence.

"We have to keep working this way, try to get a result. In January, try to bring in people. The fans know the team will be tough. They also know we need something in January that will help the current squad."

Arsenal sealed victory over Newcastle courtesy of Mesut Ozil's superb first-half volley.

It was Arsenal's first win in four Premier League games and lifted them up to fourth in the standings, one point ahead of fifth-placed Burnley.

"Overall we deserved to win," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"We had plenty of chances. In the final 10 minutes we became edgy. Overall I feel we dominated.

"The strange thing in our last games is that our displays have been good but we didn't win. That's why it's important to win today.

"Ozil's goal was a gem. (It is) good that he scores important goals. That was a great goal."