After a very long and nerve wrenching season in the EFL Championship, Newcastle United are back in the Premier League as champions of the Championship.
However, a debate that continues to rage online is where can Newcastle realistically look to finish next season and what ambitions should Newcastle fans have for the season as a whole?
In my opinion, the first thing Newcastle need to do is have a very strong summer in the transfer market. Last season, Rafael Benitez built a squad that was good enough to win the Championship but the evidence of the campaign strongly showed that the current squad is nowhere near good enough to compete in the Premier League.
When the season does get underway on the 12th August, the first goal that Newcastle need to look to achieve domestically is guarenteeing safety. The 2016/17 Premier League season proved just how difficult it is to step back up from the Championship into the Premier League with two out of the three promoted clubs, Middlesbrough and Hull Citym being relegated back down to the after only one season back in the top flight.
A realistic finishing position, in my opinion, would definitely be around mid-table, probably between 10th and 15th position in that cluster of teams that usually finish around there such as Stoke City, Watford, West Brom and Bournemouth, however if we manage to have a very good season, there is nothing to stop us breaking into the top half of the table.
Europe seems out of reach in the league but it could become a possibility for Newcastle United via the cup competitions. If Newcastle were to manage to win the EFL Cup ,that would enter the club into the 3rd round of Europa league qualification or if they were to win the FA Cup, they would automatically qualify for the group stages of the Europa League.
For me, a realistic ambition for next season could be to try and win a cup as we seaw this year in both the FA and EFL cups, some of the top Premier :eague clubs don’t always take the competitions seriously and often use them as an opportunity to field reserve teams.
If Newcastle United were to take the cups seriously, there is no reason why they couldn’t win one. They showed last year in the EFL Cup that they compete and it should be no different next year.