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Whatever happens in terms of ownership Newcastle United, as long as Rafael Benitez remains as manager, will continue to improve as the gaffer can at least chip away at improving this inadequate squad.
What we don’t have to tell the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager is that his most important business could be to secure the futures of his best players first. Most of us know that Newcastle United are not high payers in terms of salaries and they could really do without the sharks taking a massive bite out of their playing squad.
Improving the squad is a self-fulfilling prophecy anyway in that being able to keep hold of your better players sends out the right message to potential new signings who are therefore much more willing to join. Here are three the Toon could do without losing most:
Club captain and only 24-years-old, Lascelles has his effigy flying high in the Gallowgate End right next to one of the boss before home games and it thought of in very high regard by those Newcastle fans who properly know the game of football and see the big picture.
Rafa is a huge fan, but so are scouts at places like Chelsea so there may be some temptation coming the former Nottingham Forest centre-back’s way soon.
Lascelles only signed a new deal in October and that for another six years on Tyneside, however a pay rise may be appropriate shortly.
Like Lascelles, the point about Merino is slightly less about his current ability and more about his potential.
Spanish under-21 internationals tend to go on to pretty things and that’s what Merino is, his capture from Borussia Dortmund for around £6million potentially looking like a steal in the months and years to come.
Of course, Merino is relatively new to the club having initially joined on loan before Newcastle exercised their right to buy him permanently.
However, I can imagine the contract he signed until 2022 was not a particularly huge one in the context of Premier League playing talent and a new deal shouldn’t be too big a surprise already in order for the club to protect their investment.
This one is a little different in that the ‘keeper is only at the club on loan, however, there is a buying option which I think should be taken up as soon as the season is over.
Dubravka has been excellent both in terms of his performances for the club and with his general attitude, all in all showing himself perhaps to be the experienced and solid ‘keeper Rafa has been chasing, in order to help Freddie Woodman eventually make the transition to Newcastle and England no.1, jobs he is earmarked for.