Jamie Redknapp outlines what Benitez has got right about crucial Newcastle January signing

Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend joined Newcastle United in the January transfer window.

Former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp has written in The Daily Mail that Andros Townsend will be a key player in Newcastle United’s quest to escape the drop to the Championship at the end of the season.

Townsend joined Newcastle from Premier League rivals Tottenham in the January transfer window.

The England international winger was struggling for playing time at Spurs, but at St. James’ Park, he has become an important player.

Redknapp believes that the 24-year-old would be a key figure for Newcastle in their quest to retain their Premier League status for next season.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder, though, believes that manager Rafael Benitez needs to continue to play him on the right instead of on the left of midfield like his predecessor Steve McClaren..

“When Newcastle signed Andros Townsend, they played him on the left and it didn’t work,” Redknapp wrote in The Daily Mail. “They were playing a really good player in the wrong position and he looked uncomfortable. He has to play on the right where he can tuck in and hit it with his left foot.

“That’s where he has done well for England and Tottenham and there didn’t look like much point in signing him if they weren’t going to play him there. The most important thing Rafa Benitez has done is put Townsend in his right position - and he was the difference in the victory over Swansea on Saturday.”

“He will be crucial if Newcastle are to beat the drop,” added Redknapp about Townsend.

Townsend has scored three goals and created 20 chances in eight Premier League appearances for Newcastle so far this season.

The Englishman has a pass accuracy of 80% and a shot accuracy of 91%, and has won 11 dribbles and 11 tackles.

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