Newcastle returned to the top-flight after one year down in the Championship and secured themselves a top half finish.
The Magpies were predicted to struggle by most neutrals, with little money spent and Rafa Benitez seemingly not happy with the transfer window.
However, 2018 has been a good year so far for the Geordies, losing just five league games.
The season also ended on a high at St James’, with Rafa Benitez’ men beating top-four chasing Chelsea 3-0.
Two additions in January, goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and winger Kenedy, both gave United a major boost and were both key to their upturn in form.
As always, there has been talk of takeovers and investment, however, Mike Ashley is still in charge and it looks as though he will be for the foreseeable future.
We’ve taken a look at five things we have learnt from Newcastle’s season…
1. Loan players need to stay
Loan signings Martin Dubravka and Kenedy had significant positive impacts on the side and there should be efforts made to keep them both at the club. If Newcastle want to improve, they need to show ambition and spend £20 million plus on the likes of Kenedy as that’s what the top clubs do.
2. Rafa is certainly the right man
Bentiez wasn’t happy with the summer transfer window and he made that clear. However, despite the lack of backing which the Spaniard has received from the owner, he has still managed to guide the team to a top half finish in their first season back in the Premier League.
He must be backed by the board.
3. Newcastle need a reliable striker
Newcastle have a number of strikers on the books, Slimani, Joselu, Gayle, Perez and Mitrovic. However, none of them have provided a run of form or a goals tally acceptable for a club that wants to keep progressing in the Premier League. Granted, Slimani never had the chance to prove himself due to injury and suspension, but his form at Leicester was also not at the standard expected. Mitrovic has had a great spell at Fulham and may return into Rafa’s plans a new player.
4. Not yet close to challenging for Europa League
Newcastle fans are ambitious and believe their club should be playing in European competiton. However, the current squad is still a way off making it to that level.
Rafa’s men managed four league wins in a row this year but followed it up with four straight losses. This kind of inconsistency will prevent you climbing towards the top seven like Burnley have done.
5. Investment is very much needed
Mike Ashley has promised to back Rafa Benitez this summer, however, it feels like empty words as he says the same things almost every year.
Newcastle’s highest transfer fee is still £16 million spent on Michael Owen over 12 years ago, which is not acceptable for a Premier League club of Newcastle’s size and stature.