By Alex Taylor
Rafa Benitez has reminded Newcastle’s wantaway stars of their responsibilities to the club following relegation from the Premier League.
Several players have been linked with moves away from the Tyneside outfit this summer as they seek immediate returns to England’s top tier.
Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum have both publicly stated their intention to exit St James Park.
Benitez, who has consistently stated he does not have to cash in on the club’s prize assets, has sympathy for the players but insists they have a duty to stay.
“To go from the Premier League to the Championship is not easy for anyone,” Benitez told the Nothern Echo. “I understand they need some time to analyse the situation and understand where they are, but they need to take their responsibility too and try to do their best to change the situation.”
The Magpies have made several additions to their squad as they prepare for life in the Championship with Dwight Gayle, Matz Sels and Matt Ritchie all arriving in the current transfer window.
Benitez failed to keep Newcastle in the Premier League last season as the club finished 18th, amassing just 37 points throughout the campaign but fans were delighted when the former Real Madrid manager opted to stay on and manage the Toon in England’s second tier.
The Tyneside outfit will begin life in the Championship against Fulham on 5 August.