Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern have used the last few days to look back at their side’s first season back in the Premier League so far, and indeed look forward to a crucial final few months of the campaign.
Rafa Benitez’s men returned to the top tier of English football after winning the Championship last term, as the Magpies seek to re-establish themselves as a top-flight club having suffered relegation twice in the last ten years. And while they are very much in a relegation battle alongside a whole host of teams, the North East giants have proven so far this season that they have enough quality and fight to preserve their Premier League status in the final eight matches of the campaign.
As such, there have been some optimistic Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their team can indeed get the crucial few victories between now and the end of the season to remain above the dotted line.
Yet some of our resident Magpies supporters are already looking ahead to the summer and what business their side may look to do if they remain in the top-flight, with many discussing recent reports suggesting that Jack Wilshere is no nearer agreeing a new deal at Arsenal.
And while the 26-year-old’s injury problems have been well-documented over the years, there’s little doubting that the £16.2 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) would significantly improve this Newcastle team, and potentially help take them into Europe next season.
Ultimately, the foundations are very much there at St James’ Park for the Magpies to re-establish themselves in the top half of the Premier League table – be it the calibre of manager that Benitez is, as well as the enormous and passionate fanbase the club has.
However, it now needs the quality on the pitch to take the club forward once again, and while there are some excellent players currently at the North East giants, more will be needed over the summer to take that next step.
And Wilshere is one who would hugely benefit Benitez’s team.
When fit, there are arguments made that the 26-year-old is England’s most talented central midfielder, and that isn’t just based on his potential, that is based on a career which has so far seen him produce impressive displays against some of the world’s best sides, be it Brazil or Barcelona.
And while some will be concerned about his injury record – Transfermarkt note that he has had 13 different injuries during his career – he has enjoyed an injury-free campaign for Arsenal so far this season, and has done so well that he has forced his way back into Arsene Wenger’s reckoning.
Yes, his injury record cannot be forgotten, but Wilshere has enjoyed a fine season to date to possibly suggest that those injury woes are behind him, and were he not to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, he’s sure to be in-demand come the summer such is his undoubted midfield quality.
And Newcastle must seek to snap him up – European football may seem like a long way away at present, but the Magpies went into this weekend’s round of fixtures just 11 points adrift of seventh place Burnley, which could well be a European spot come the end of the campaign.
As such, the Magpies aren’t as far away as some might think, perhaps just a few quality Premier League players, and one could well be available for nothing in the summer in the form of Arsenal’s Wilshere.
Thus, it’s a deal they must seek to strike, as the 26-year-old could well help take Newcastle into Europe next season.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!