Newcastle need a marquee signing to cement their European ambitions this summer.
The Magpies ended the season in 10th place – a respectable finish given the lack of resources available to Rafael Benitez. Mike Ashley indicated that the Spaniard would be backed in the transfer market, but the club are yet to make a marquee signing in the transfer window. If Ashley wants to keep Benitez on Tyneside, he simply must give him transfer funds.
Benitez would be wise to land a new number eight this season to partner Jonjo Shelvey in the engine room. Following Mikel Merino’s departure to Real Sociedad, the former Liverpool man lacks a true creative partner in the centre of midfield. To solve his problem, Benitez should reignite his interest in Chelsea outcast – Ross Barkley.
Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the Englishman was targeted by Newcastle last summer when Barkley announced he would be leaving Everton. He ultimately stayed put before completing a bizarre £15m move to Chelsea. He played just 131 minutes of football for the Blues after making the switch.
Following Maurizio Sarri’s arrival at the club, it’s hard to see Barkley in his plans and Newcastle should offer him the chance to revive his career at St. James Park. The 24-year-old clearly has the talent to be a Premier League star, and Benitez could help get the best out of the former England international.
Playing regular football on Tyneside could be just what Barkley needs to rediscover his best form. Potentially available at a great price, Newcastle would be foolish to turn him down.
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