Rafa Benitez risks wrath with Newcastle supporters as he closes in on West Brom winger

The West Brom winger became a hate figure on Tyneside after a horror tackle on Massadio Haidara in 2012 when he was playing for Wigan.

Even now, many fans still haven’t forgiven the Scouser and have expressed their outrage on social media at his imminent arrival.

But such is Benitez’s popularity at St James’ Park the vast majority are prepared to back the manager’s judgment as he closes in on a £4.7m deal.

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