The former manager is not anticipating his old side challenging the top six or lifting a cup.
New boss Steve McLaren has added several new faces to his squad this summer, with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Chancel Mbemba and Georginio Wijnaldum chief among them.
They were equally busy last summer although those new players failed to adapt properly and relegation from England’s top flight was only narrowly avoided. And Souness says any potential success this season will depend on how quickly the signings this summer adapt.
“It really depends on how quickly the new guys settle in,” he told Sky Sports Super Sunday.
“The guys that were there last year didn’t come up to the mark, they weren’t good enough. So the new guys that have come in have got to lift everybody at the club, they’ve got to be better. I think that will be their story.”
The former Magpies boss is also not anticipating anything special this season from McLaren’s side.
One big point of contention was that the side didn’t put in any effort in the cup competitions last season, with many believing success could have been easily achieved in either the FA Cup or Capital One Cup.
They are hoping things will be different under their new boss this year, but Souness doesn’t think that will happen, while he is also not expecting a challenge on the top six from his former club.
“Are they going to threaten to win anything? No,” he added.
“Are they going to threaten to get into the top six, I don’t think so. They’ve brought in some foreign players in again and we talk about footballers needing time to settle in to our football.”