Despite Newcastle United’s appalling 2015/16 season, and their subsequent relegation into the Championship, experienced manager Rafa Benitez has decided to stay with the Magpies to lead their fight back into the Premier League.
This came as welcome news to Newcastle fans who feared the Spaniard would leave after overseeing their relegation.
The same players who performed so poorly under Steve McClaren staged a mini fight back under Benitez, but there is some uncertainty over the futures of some of their most talented players.
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Some of the squad may see the Championship as a backwards step and may opt to leave for clubs in Europe’s top leagues, whilst others may not have the stomach for the notoriously tough Championship.
We’ve identified a number of players who could leave this summer.
Ayoze Perez could be one of the Magpies looking for a move away from St James' Park following their relegation to the Championship.
The tricky forward might not be suitable for the second-tier of English football due to the rough nature of the league. Perez has quite a small frame and isn't considered to be strong, which could see him struggle to make an impact.
He has, however, displayed flashes of brilliance during his time at Newcastle and has shown plenty of potential.
He certainly could flourish with a team in the top flight and at 22, he still has time to learn and develop.
The Magpies skipper is a fan favourite and certainly would be a huge loss if he was to leave.
He will be on display with France during the European Championships, and his stock could rise, especially if he performs well and has a good tournament.
The Dutch midfielder’s best moment for Newcastle came when he scored four goals in the thrashing of Norwich City last season.
A talented midfielder, Rafa Benitez may struggle to keep hold of him, and will need to pull out all the stops to make him a key part of Newcastle United’s quest to return to the top flight.
At 28, the Dutch stopper is still in his prime and is a proven quality goalkeeper.
His season was sadly cut short by a devastating knee injury last October, and if he had been between the sticks for the entire season, Newcastle may have had an easier campaign.
Krul is a talented goalkeeper and as he returns to full fitness, he will certainly attract attention from clubs in the Premier League and elsewhere.
Can Newcastle United earn promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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