Since arriving at Newcastle, Rafa Benitez has been the main driving force in a change of fortunes at St. James’ Park. Arriving in March 2016, Benitez has turned a disjointed club into a united one. So with the news that he will be staying on Tyneside, coupled with the news of money to spend, what will Benitez do next?
What will the future bring?
Newcastle United is a strange club. Last season, relegation was confirmed, however, the club was perhaps the most together it’s been under Mike Ashley’s tenure. It has been well known in the press that Ashley’s relationship with the supporters has been strained at best. However, the man who once changed the name of Newcastle’s historic ground must be given credit for securing Benitez.
It was definitely a fear of many United fans that Ashley would revert back to his old money saving ways after a disappointing January. However, Wednesday’s promise that Benitez will be given every last penny the club makes through promotion will give United fans hope. This statement will give Benitez a solid argument into getting whatever he wants on Tyneside. Ashley knows that with his history of broken promises, he cannot afford to mess this up. United fans would be in uproar if promises weren’t fulfilled. Furthermore, the backlash against the owner would be huge; losing Ashley a lot of money. For this reason, it makes sense as a business decision to keep Benitez happy.
Who will stay and go?
In terms of the future, it will be interesting to see Benitez’s approach. On relegation, Rafa invested heavily into creating a squad more than just a starting eleven. Concentrating on exactly what he needed in order to gain promotion. A deep squad is what Benitez needed and is precisely what he created. Players such as Daryl Murphy didn’t feature often, however, did a great job for Newcastle when injuries occurred. Careful planning will be put into every scenario possible. You could see a very similar situation to last year in terms of deals.
It would be expected a large amount of the ‘Championship’ players Benitez brought in last summer will leave the club. As much as it would be great to be Daryl Murphy be given a chance in the Premier League, it would be highly unlikely. Furthermore, the crop of loanees returning to the club will be interesting. Will Benitez give a chance to the likes of De Jong or Saivet? It will be interesting to see but Benitez didn’t appear interested in playing the midfielder during his spell in the Premier League. Will he be given a chance this time? I would say it’s highly unlikely and he may be shipped out quickly. De Jong has expressed his desire for a chance at St. James and it would be nice to see the Dutchman realise his potential.
It is very difficult to see who maybe incoming into St. James’ Park in the summer. Until we learn of the first deal it’s very hard to tell. However, Benitez will be targeting Premier League experience. The club has been linked with the likes of Yaya Toure and Cesc Fabregas and despite Benitez’s well-respected status, to sign a player such as this would be very unlikely. A move for Townsend may happen however it is far more unlikely than in January due to his upturn in form.
United must learn from their mistakes. Benitez will make sure they do. Premier League experience is needed so it is a good thing we have one each of the league’s most successful managers. The future for once is finally looking bright on Tyneside
Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy