Rafa Benitez will not be remembered fondly by Real Madrid supporters in the years to come.
After just seven months, 25 games and a 4-0 thumping by Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabau, the Madrid-born manager was given his P45 just halfway through the 2015/16 season.
But Benitez does have a legacy at the 13-time European champions in the diminutive shape of Lucas Vazquez. It was the former Chelsea and Liverpool boss who brought Vazquez back to Real four years ago, after all, exercising the buyback clause in his contract at Espanyol.
And while the winger cannot hold a candle to Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in terms of technical ability, his relentless work rate and willingness to offer up blood, sweat and tears in almost every position has made him a more than useful member of Real’s squad ever since.
Vazquez even has three Champions League winner’s medals to his name.
But he’s a few months too late if he wants to reunite with Benitez at Newcastle United.
According to El Desmarque, Newcastle are interested in bringing Vazquez to the Premier League in January with West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers also eyeing up a potential winter deal for a man who has fallen out of favour during Zinedine Zidane’s second spell at the Bernabeu.
Benitez bid an emotional farewell to Tyneside over the summer with Steve Bruce settling into his seat on the St James’ bench.
It remains to be seen whether Vazquez would be willing to leave Madrid to play under Bruce, not to mention Manuel Pellegrini or Nuno Espirito Santo. Newcastle’s task would have been a lot easier had Benitez stayed.
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