Rafael Benitez has been desperate to add cover for Paul Dummett, the club’s only specialist left-back who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury, for some time and was delighted to have finally made progress.

He said: “The left-back/left-wing-back position is one we’ve been looking to strengthen for a while and he’s an Italy under-21 international who we know has quality, good delivery and is good going forward.

“He has the attributes, he has the quality and he has the characteristics that we look for. Now we must see how quickly he can adapt, but we will try to help him and if he can give us more competition in this area, and more quality in the final third with his deliveries, the only thing I can see is a positive.”

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