By Danny Wright
Terry McDermott has said that Newcastle have to keep hold of Rafa Benitez next season and has urged Mike Ashley to offer him the financial support he needs to rebuild the club.
Newcastle look set to secure an instant return to the Premier League this season but McDermott, who had two spells as assistant manager at St. James’ Park, believes that Ashley holds the key to a bright future under the tenure of Benitez.
McDermott called upon the Newcastle owner to once again provide a bumper transfer kitty to ensure that the club doesn’t fall to a third relegation from the Premier League.
“He’s a winner and, please God, he [Benitez] stays at Newcastle. That’s absolutely imperative,” said McDermott, as quoted by the Chronicle (10:16) in their live blog.
“And, please God, if they do go up, Rafa will be given the money to establish them in the top half of the Premier League.
“For a club of Newcastle’s size and history to have been relegated twice in seven years is astonishing, and it can’t be allowed to happen again.
“Hopefully Mike Ashley will provide the funds to improve the squad and make sure they come back stronger, but for now the most important thing is that Newcastle finish the job and do go up – because if they don’t do it this year, you do wonder if Rafa will stay.”
The Tynesiders have spent a whopping £54.74million on transfers this season, despite their relegation to the Championship.
However the glut of transfers appears to have worked as Newcastle sit top of the league standings, seven points clear of third-place Huddersfield in the play-off spots.
The arrivals of Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie took large chunks out of Benitez’s transfer budget but the duo have been on top form this season and the club are now reaping the benefits.
In other Newcastle news, fans have reacted on Twitter to reports linking their club to this Premier League assist king.