Rafael Benitez has insisted that Newcastle United can no longer compete with the teams challenging for European qualification in the Premier League.
The Spaniard singled out the fact that the clubs transfer budget and wage bill will not allow them to compete against the likes of Wolves and Leicester who are the current clubs pushing for seventh place.
The contract stand-off between Benitez and Newcastle has become frosty with Rafa insisting his side needs to aim higher.
“When I came here, I could see the potential of the club to be challenging, certainly for seventh to 10th in the table but looking higher.’ Benitez told the Chronicle.
“But when you analyse the transfer fees and wage bills of other teams, we’re not competing.
“I am the manager until 30 June. We can see the potential. When you see the teams between seventh and 15th, we have to compete with them.”
Benitez is right to want his Newcastle side to aim higher in the next few years. When you look at clubs coming up from the Championship, the standard has slightly lowered which should ease relegation worries. That being said, a club the size of Newcastle should never go into a season with those worries, when clubs like Watford and Wolves have higher expectations, that is disappointing for the Magpies fans. The shocking realisation is that their spending power definitely does not compare to teams around them, the reluctancy to spend big money on marquee players is an achilles heel for Newcastle which will eventually come to hurt them. The signing of Miguel Almiron broke the mould of not spending big money and the impact he had was world class. If the impact Almiron had on the side does not show Mike Ashley what he needs to do more of than the Europa League dreams can be forgotten and quick.