By Harvey Byrne
Outspoken pundit and former Liverpool man Stan Collymore believes Newcastle should bring in John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Jermain Defoe in the summer.
The trio are all experienced in the English top-flight and have proven they can perform at Premier League level during their time in the top division.
However, Terry is set to leave Chelsea after 22 years at the London club with his playing time being severely reduced this season, while Defoe could also be looking for a way out of Sunderland after the Black Cats suffered relegation to the Championship in April.
Meanwhile, Fabregas, 30, is another whose future at Chelsea is in doubt with the 110-time capped Spain international finding himself in and out of the starting line-up throughout the campaign.
Now, Collymore has explained in his column for the Mirror why the three players would be the ideal signings for the north east giants in the future.
“Now we will see a game of brinkmanship between the two men as boss Benitez seeks total control — a game in which he will be telling (Mike) Ashley that if he gives him what he wants then the glory nights last witnessed when Faustino Asprilla tore Barcelona apart will be just around the corner,” wrote Collymore for the Mirror.
“To get there, Ashley must trust his manager, let him use his contacts and profile in the game — and there are three players in particular I’d love to see Benitez go for.
“They are Cesc Fabregas , John Terry and Jermain Defoe, who would all do a sensational job at St James’ Park.
“Fabregas, in particular, is the sort of player the Toon Army would adore. He’d be the perfect signing for Benitez.
“Rafa needs a qualityto play behind Dwight Gayle and another new striker, and if I were Benitez I’d be saying, ‘Come and play up here, like Kevin Keegan did all those years ago. Be a big hero for 52,000 home fans, weave your magic and they will sing your name.’
“The Spanish midfielder would love the area, the supporters would love him and he could be a proper leadership figure at a football club for once in his life.
“Yes, he was made captain at Arsenal, but that was too soon for him. Now, at age 30 he could set the tempo of every Newcastle game.
“Fabregas has been a very impressive impact substitute for the champions-elect and is set to win a title medal, but a player of his quality should be playing week in, week out.
“Then there is Terry.
“If Benitez is feeling really bold, he should try for the former England captain.
“The pair had their issues when they were together at Stamford Bridge a few years ago, but football people have short memories when it suits them and this would be a great move for both men.
“Whether or not Benitez could convince Defoe to move down the road from bitter rivals Sunderland remains to be seen, but alongside Gayle he could do very well.
“Managers of promoted clubs always used to make these sorts of signings and so often it worked out well for them.
“Players would be reinvigorated by a move, and imagine what the likes of Gayle and Matt Ritchie would learn from being around that trio.
“With their current squad, Newcastle could maybe, just maybe, nick into the top half in a good season. But they could also struggle, like other recently-promoted teams Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Burnley have done.
“With those three players, however, the building blocks would be well in place for the Magpies to become a Premier League force once more.”
Former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager Benitez was presented with one of the biggest budgets in the Championship last summer in a move to try and keep him at the club.
However, the club did also make a combined £55million from the sales of duo Georginio Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko to Liverpool and Tottenham respectively.
Owner Ashley has previously built up a reputation for keeping a tight budget at the club, but fans will be hoping he allows Benitez to capture his targets this summer.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Ian Wright has told how much the Magpies need to spend in the summer.