Alan Shearer has voiced his concerns over the future of Rafa Benitez, suggesting Mike Ashley must hand him a staggering £150m if Newcastle are to compete next season.
Speaking in his column in the Sun yesterday, the former Newcastle United number 9 said the following:
“Newcastle are at a crossroads and I’m not convinced Mike Ashley will take the right turn.
“What evidence is there that he is going to change now? He clearly acceded to some of Rafa Benitez’s demands last summer, which is why he stayed on to get Newcastle back up…but it is a different ball game now.
“As soon as promotion was confirmed and Rafa refused to commit his future to Tyneside, I had to worry.
“Quite simply, he needs about eight new players just to turn Newcastle into a mid-table Premier League team.
“Benitez won’t want to go into next season knowing he has a squad only good enough for a relegation scrap. He won’t have it.
“There is a huge opportunity here for Newcastle to establish themselves again as a top-flight force. But he now needs, at the minimum, a £150million investment in new players.
“And I am not convinced that will happen.”
Shearer raises some valid points but his assessment is quite uninspiring and, in parts, unrealistic.
Firstly, I do agree that around 8 new signings would be required to allow us to compete in the Premier League, with it also being true that Benitez have ambitions beyond a dog fight next season.
With this in mind, Rafa will require considerable investment, but Alan’s suggestion that a minimum summer spend of £150m is a little over the top. This figure raises unrealistic expectations, with it being more than likely that Benitez is handed half of that sum this summer.
I’m hopeful that Benitez stays, gaining substantial backing from Ashley this summer, but I won’t be holding my breath for a £150m transfer kitty!
(Fancy having your say? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)