Newcastle United supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side comfortably dispatch of Chelsea 3-0 on Sunday to finish the Premier League season on a high.
Rafa Benitez’s men were already safe ahead of kick-off on the final weekend of the season, which itself is testament to the job done by the Spaniard and his team having only won promotion 12 months ago. And they finished the campaign with a flourish as a brace from Ayoze Perez alongside a Dwight Gayle strike sealed a routine success at St James’ Park, thus seeing the Magpies finish in tenth place in the division with 44 points from 38 matches.
Subsequently, there have been many delighted Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are looking ahead to the summer and what business their team may conduct to improve under Benitez next time round.
However, Benítez may not even be at the helm come the start of the campaign if recent reports are anything to go by, which link him with the vacant post at West Ham, and were the Spaniard to indeed leave the club this summer, the North East giants simply must seek to replace him with former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian will be out of work come the end of the campaign as he will leave his job at Ligue 1 side Nantes come the summer, this all despite overseeing a decent season which could see them still finish as high as eighth in the French top-flight.
However, he will be best-known to English football fans for leading Leicester to the most unlikely of title triumphs back in 2016, with Ranieri the man in charge as the Foxes won the Premier League by ten points of second place Arsenal having lost just three matches all season.
But it was the way that the 66-year-old got the Midlands outfit playing, both for the team and indeed for each other, which was remarkable, with the Italian taking talented players like Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, and letting them play with a freedom to become even better – Mahrez won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for that season.
Ultimately, he was able to get the absolute best out of what he had at Leicester – add in his various trophy successes at previous clubs such as Fiorentina and Valencia, and Ranieri has the experience but also the know-how to go into Newcastle and help take them forward.
He has worked for some massive clubs down the years, most notably Chelsea, Juventus, Roma, and Inter Milan, to suggest that he would be able to deal with the pressure and expectation from the huge Newcastle fanbase.
As such, were Benitez to indeed leave the club this summer, the Magpies must seek to lure Ranieri back to the Premier League by appointing him at St James’ Park.
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