After the club’s somewhat surprising exit from the top flight of English football, Newcastle United are preparing for the new season with the Championship on the horizon.
And, under the guidance of Rafa Benitez, who failed to keep them in the Premier League last season, the Toon Army will have every reason to believe they can make an instant return to the big time.
Their failure to stay in the Premier League was a surprise to many football fans who, looking at Newcastle’s squad, would have expected them to perform much better than they did.
The appointment of Benitez late in the 2015/16 season appeared to have been a case of too little too late. As it was, the Steve McClaren reign was at large fault for the club’s relegation.
Nevertheless, with new opportunity comes new optimism. And that certainly seems to be the case at St James’ Park.
So much so, regular Premier League players such as Matt Richie have dropped down to the Championship in the hope they can see the club back to where it belongs – the Premier League.
Most importantly, though, is bringing players to the club that can help Newcastle score goals – i.e. a prolific goalscorer.
Something they struggled with last season was scoring goals and coming across that very issue in the 2016/17 will make it hard for them to gain promotion.
As a result, the signing of ex-Crystal Palace striker, Dwight Gayle, is a very smart move by Rafa Benitez given his track record.
Football League World writer Reece Chambers identifies THREE reasons why Gayle will score 15+ goals for the Magpies next season…