Brisbane Broncos legend and four-time premiership winner Wendell Sailor insists his former coach "is not what he used to be" after an abundance of failed marquee signings this off-season.
Sailor spoke to Triple M about the recruitment of the new expansion team The Dolphins, expressing his concern for Bennett's previously recognised ability to lure star talent.
"The magic of Wayne Bennett is that he's able to sign a marquee player," Sailor said.
"I think Wayne, along with some of his recruitment people, they probably would have had the confidence to execute a few deals."
"But unfortunately, I am not saying he hasn't got the Midas touch, but he is not what he used to be, Bennett."
Despite signing important players to the club, the Dolphins failed to sign a marquee player to elevate the team to the next level.
Some of the players they missed out on luring to Redcliffe include the Melbourne Storm trio of Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Jahrome Hughes, as well as Queensland fullback Kalyn Ponga and two-time premiership winner Stephen Crichton.
Sailor, a former Queensland and Australian representative, admitted his former coach was dealt a bad hand with the lack of time The Dolphins had to sign a key player.
Although he did insist the magic of having Bennett as head coach entices the big names to come over to clubs, a factor seen when Bennett took on the coaching role at the Dragons, Knights and Broncos.
At his previous clubs, Bennett has always managed to make a marquee signing in his inaugural year. At the Dragons, it was Darius Boyd. Followed by Boyd once again and Dane Gagai at the Knights, while a prime Anthony Milford landed at the Broncos in 2015.
"I personally think the Dolphins needed a two-year lead in, not one year and it is proving hard now," Sailor said.
"But obviously, Ponga, Munster, I know for a fact he thought he had Munster… but this is the magic of Wayne Bennett usually, being able to get marquee players and high profile players."
While the Dophins failed to sign a marquee player in year one, it will be interesting to see if Bennett can entice players to join them for year two. Some important players off-contract at the end of the season include David Fifita, Liam Martin, Luke Brooks and Adam Doueihi.