By Matt Bullin
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has predicted Newcastle will spend £150million this summer as they prepare for their return to the Premier League.
Newcastle were promoted from the Championship as champions on Sunday as they beat Barnsley 3-0 and Brighton failed to beat Aston Villa.
Ayoze Perez, Chancel Mbemba and Dwight Gayle all netted for the Toon as they finished their season in style and overtook Brighton to become champions in the process.
Rafa Benitez brought 12 players to the club following their relegation from the Premier League last campaign.
Matt Richie and Gayle were two pivotal figures in the promotion-winning side who dropped down a division to sign five year deals.
More than £50million was spent last summer by Benitez, but Gini Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend departed the club too, meaning the net spend was £30million in the green zone.
But Wright has predicted that owner Mike Ashley will have to reach deep into his pockets this summer.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5Live, as quoted by the Chronicle Live, Wright said: “I don’t think £150million is ridiculous [as a budget].
“When you consider there are players going for £30million who are only just getting into Premier League teams. £30million is nothing in the current climate – it’s nothing.
“[Benitez has] got to do something. He’s got to get near to those kind of figures. They’re not just prices people are plucking out of the air when they say £150million.
“They have to start paying the kind of wages that will attract people to Newcastle, for a start, and keep them there.”
Wright also highlighted the importance of Benitez, a world renowned manager, in attracting players to the club.
Wright won two FA Cups and one Premier League title with Arsenal in his eight year spell there, scoring 112 goals in 205 league and cup games.
In other Newcastle news, here are three Premier League defenders who can help the Toon survive in the league next year.