Following a successful first season back in the Premier League under Rafael Benitez, Newcastle fans will be incredibly keen to see the Spanish manager stay with the club and continue to develop their side.
However, there have been concerns aired by the fans recently as talks regarding a contract extension for Benitez appear to have come to a standstill. As such, some fans have started to worry the 58-year-old will walk away from the club.
Subsequently, some fans have gotten excited about quotes from Benitez’s good friend Pako Ayestaran, who operated as the Spaniard’s assistant manager between 1996 and 2007, partnering him from Osasuna to Valencia and Liverpool,
Quoted in Adam Crafton’s new book From Guernica to Guardiola, Ayestaran discussed Benitez’s decision to stand by the club through their relegation to the Championship in 2016, speaking about how highly Rafa regards the club, saying: “It’s the feeling of belonging to a club, to a community, and a responsibility to the people in your city.
“I think Rafa sees similarities between Newcastle and Liverpool, in the town and the fans. It’s no surprise to me that he is popular there. I’ve seen his mentality, work ethic, attention to detail – and that brings results.
“I think the big thing for Rafa is that he feels loved and wanted. He couldn’t walk away.
“It’s a club that has Champions League potential. They are one of the traditional big clubs with an extraordinary fanbase and an authentic culture. It should be a magnificent club to manage – and it needs to become that again.”
Following an immensely successful first season back in the Premier League, Benitez’s Newcastle currently sit 10th in the Premier League with only one game remaining, that game coming against Chelsea on Sunday.