Newcastle United supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team finish the 2017/18 season on a high courtesy of a 3-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
An Ayoze Perez double alongside Dwight Gayle’s sixth goal of the campaign sealed a routine success for Rafa Benitez’s men, a result which secured them a top-half finish upon their return to the Premier League. It also meant that the Magpies finished the campaign with 44 points from their 38 matches, and very much having laid the foundations for even better and brighter things to come in the future.
Consequently, there have been many delighted Newcastle fans in the Tavern this week, although many are likely to be concerned by recent reports linking manager Benitez with the vacant post at West Ham following their decision against renewing David Moyes’ contract.
As such, there is little doubting that the biggest summer in many a year beckons for the North East giants, with owner Mike Ashley very much holding the key to what the future holds for the Magpies.
Ultimately, Benitez and his team deserve huge credit for sealing a tenth place finish this season, this all after spending very little in the last few transfer windows, to the point that he got just three loan signings from the most recent market in January.
And as the Spaniard himself has made clear throughout his time in charge at St James’ Park, funds are needed to take the club forward and potentially back to their previous heights – funds that simply haven’t been made available to the former Chelsea and Liverpool chief.
However, news of West Ham’s interest could be a watershed moment in the relationship between Ashley and Benitez.
Failure to promise the adequate investment this summer at Newcastle could see the latter abandon ship for the London Stadium, yet given his affinity with the North East heavyweights, and the love shown to him by the fans, it seems evident that he wants to stay at the club.
But that can surely only happen if he is given the money to invest and thus mould the squad he wants at St James’ Park – it’s as simple as that.
Clearly, having finished tenth this term and just ten points off Europa League qualifiers Burnley in seventh, the Magpies aren’t actually that far away from challenging for European football once again – under Benitez, that is certainly an achievable target, but only if the board match his ambitions.
Newcastle is a huge club with great infrastructure and a great fanbase – add in a world-class manager with numerous trophies on his CV, and it seems ready to return to the big-time once again. But only if the money is made available to Benitez.
If that doesn’t happen, it’s perfectly plausible that Benitez walks this summer, perhaps to take over at West Ham or maybe even Everton, and with that will come massive supporter frustration – all the hard work of this season would begin unravelling ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
As such, this is without doubt the biggest summer in years at Newcastle, the results of which will surely shape the club’s future in the succeeding years.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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