'Without a shadow of a doubt' - Ian Wright reveals where Newcastle must expect to finish this season
By Russell Edge
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has said that Newcastle United should be expecting a top half finish this season.
The Magpies have enjoyed a bright start on their return to the Premier League, having had to face a campaign in the Championship after suffering relegation two seasons ago.
Under manager Rafael Benitez they managed to pip fellow promoted side Brighton to the second tier title and find themselves seventh in the table after nine games, ahead of the likes of Liverpool, Southampton and big summer spenders Everton.
Having made the best start of all the promoted clubs, Wright believes that the Magpies should be aiming to finish in the top half come the end of the season, provided that Benitez is backed in the upcoming January transfer window.
However he says that despite a potential takeover, with the club having officially been put up for sale, he does not believe that they could mount a challenge at the top of the table, despite having a top manager at the helm.
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He told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club (23/10, 19:00): “I do believe that Newcastle, with the right resources and the right recruitment, they should be top ten and in and around the top end – without a shadow of a doubt.
“I heard Garth Crooks say with the right resources, Newcastle could win the league. That’s tough.
“If they do have a takeover, he (Benitez) is the right man to be involved in that and he is someone you would want to give the money to.
“It’s not all about money. We saw that with Leicester.
“Leicester made some brilliant signings, the recruitment was amazing and the stars aligned. It was amazing.
“But for them to win the Premier League, with the likes of Pep (Guardiola) and (Mauricio) Pochettino around, it is going to take some doing.”
Newcastle’s next fixture sees them travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley, who were beaten 3-0 by league leaders Manchester City in their last match.
The Magpies will go into that clash off the back of a 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace, with Mikel Merino’s late header securing the three points.
In other Newcastle United news, the Magpies have embarked on a European transfer mission after a £7million success.