If Rafa Benitez stays on Tyneside and it ‘s still a big if, it will be fascinating to see how he goes about building a whole new squad at the club.
The squad will be one that can not only challenge to win the Championship next season but the players will also be the foundation of Rafa’s new side for the future.
There are certain players – like Sylvain Marveaux and Gabby Obertan who have already left the club – that will be no-brainers and they include players like Steven Taylor, Yoan Gouffran and Manu Riviere, whose Newcastle careers will end this summer.
Could Rafa persuade this player to stay?
Rafa will bring in players from wherever for the team, but it’s who he keeps on board that should be interesting.
Players who are expected to leave but may not could include Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse who he’s used as starters since he arrived.
It also looks like he may have created the Netherlands’ new right back – Vernon Anita – in the short nine weeks he’s been at Newcastle.
We expect younger players like Chancel Mbemba, Jamaal Lascelles, Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic to stay at the club.
And Rafa may want to keep one of the players who think they are stars at Newcastle – maybe Moussa Sissoko – who he has made captain – but we don’t think Moussa will want to stay.
Fabricio Coloccini is another player who has never played since Rafa arrived and we wonder if he will want to use Colo next season – or whether to allow him to leave to get him off the wage bill.
Notice that one of the important negotiating points that Rafa will be discussing with Lee Charnley is that it must be him that will decide who stays and who leaves and will have to depend on whether they are on high wages or not.
That could be a crucial negotiating point for the Spaniard.
It’s almost certain he would allow players like Gini Wijnaldum, Siem de Jong, and loan signing Seydou Doumbia to leave.
What happens to Henri Saivet is a good question and we hope he can persuade Andros Townsend to stay on at the club, but that could be a bridge too far.
It will be great having Rafa coach young Adam Armstrong, who scored 20 goals for Coventry on loan last season in League One.
Rafa may wan to take a look at Florian Thauvin and if he likes what he sees he may want him to be loaned out for a season, so he is available when hopefully we are back in the Premier League next year at this time.
It will certainly be a fascinating summer for Newcastle fans it Rafa agrees to stay with us.
Here’s how you can help ensure that ……
The Chronicle have an open letter to Rafa and a petition for fans to sign – here’s where you can read the letter and sign the petition.
If you want to send a message to Rafa asking him to stay, here’s all the contact information for Newcastle United – here.