Sky Sports pundit Peter Beagrie believes just three of the current Newcastle United squad are guaranteed to be involved in the Premier League next season after the club confirmed its promotion from the Championship on Monday night.
Rafa Benitez’s side sealed their instant return to the top flight as they beat Preston North End 4-1 at St James’ Park in what has been a largely impressive campaign and the Spaniard can now starting planning for matches against the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.
However, Beagrie says that less than a handful of Magpies players are good enough to be first team regulars next term if the club is to avoid being in a relegation battle once again, and has urged owner Mike Ashley to give his manager a decent transfer budget this summer.
The 51-year-old told Sky Sports: “The club will have to massively match his ambitions. They will have to spend a huge amount of money.
“They have showed they can do that – although they have balanced the books – because this squad is not good enough for the Premier League.
Beagrie went on to mention the three players in the Newcastle side that are good enough to make the step up to the Premier League, but there was no place for the likes of captain Jamaal Lascelles, Mohamed Diame and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
He added: “We have mentioned three key players, Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie. They will certainly feature.
“For all the other players the jury will be out – even some of the players that have covered themselves in glory with some starring performances this year. That’s the chasm to the Premier League.”
Newcastle will still harbour ambitions of winning the Championship title but they will need leaders Brighton and Hove Albion to falter as they currently sit four points the Seagulls with just two league fixtures remaining.