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Two things Rafa needs to do at Newcastle next season

In a season marred by inconsistent performances on the pitch, and subsequent relegation, the news that Rafael Benitez would be staying on as Magpies boss next season was possibly the best piece of news fans had heard in a long, long time. After winning everything there is to win in European football, Benitez brings with him a footballing pedigree that any manager in the Premier League let alone the Championship can match. Whilst the early Championship odds have them at 9/4 to jump straight back up to the top flight at the first attempt in the 2016/2017 season, the road back to the Premier League for ‘big clubs’ is rarely paved with gold – just ask Leeds United.

In terms of their finances and indeed the size of the club, Newcastle are perfectly poised to win the Championship next season but there are still a few things new boss Rafa must do to make sure it all runs smoothly. Here’s a list of two things Benitez must do at St James’ Park this summer.

Get rid of the waste

Moussa Sissoko’s recent comments regarding his preference for a move to ‘beautiful Arsenal’ certainly went down like a lead balloon. The 26-year-old (along with a fair portion of the squad) has performed below his usual high (ish) standards this season and, instead of shouldering the responsibility of the disastrous campaign, he has instead opted for a quick escape and targeted a club that is arguably way out of his league (quite literally). For the small section of fans disappointed to see that the French international wants away this summer, we say, the club could be better off without him.

The one thing Rafa needs above all else next season is harmony within his squad and harmony is indeed something that he won’t achieve should half his squad not want to even be at the North East club. With rumours circulating that Aleksandar Mitrović is looking to leave this summer, Spanish boss Benitez would be better off getting rid and building his side around young, hungry players who do want to play for the shirt.

Give youth a chance

After the gratuitous amounts of money spent by the club in the 2015 summer transfer window, it might be worth Rafa taking a closer look internally this year and seeing what young talent he can promote from within. Nineteen-year-old striker Adam Armstrong, for example, is one player who’d fit the bill in England’s second tier after a successful campaign on loan at Coventry City. The striker is just one of a clutch of young Magpies who could flourish if given a chance at a lower level next season. After seeing previous Newcastle starlets such as Andy Carroll benefit from a season in the English second tier, the 2016/2017 campaign could be a chance to utilise what the club already have at their disposal.

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