Reports are suggesting that Ki Sung-Yung's poor mobility in midfield has led to his exclusion from Newcastle's recent match day squads.
Ki joined Newcastle on a free transfer from Swansea this summer after a five year spell in south Wales. Since making the move to Tyneside, the South Korean international has only been able to make three appearances in all competitions, with his last being in the Magpies' 2-1 defeat against Manchester City in September.
So far, the 2018/19 campaign has not been a successful one by any means for Newcastle, who are without a win in the Premier League and find themselves languishing in the bottom three.
Attentions are already being drawn to the January transfer window in the hopes that a set of fresh new signings can reinvigorate the currently under-performing squad.
Ki's disappearance from Newcastle's match day squads indicates that Benitez may be looking to bring in a new central midfielder to add a little more dynamism to the currently flat midfield.
However, Ki has proven that he is more than capable of playing to a decent level, as exhibited during his time with Swansea, so he may get a chance to work his way back into the side should any injuries crop up between now and the January transfer window.
With very little cash to spend, Benitez may end up having no other option but to give Ki an extended run in the team in the future.