Following the announcement that Rafael Benitez will continue on as manager, there is a sudden sense of optimism surrounding the Newcastle United faithful.
Many believe that Benitez will be able to comfortably guide Newcastle back into the Premier League and do so by keeping hold of the players currently at his disposal.
A number of first teamers have already pledged their allegiance to Newcastle despite their relegation and the presence of Benitez will only serve to convince a couple more to stay put at St. James’ Park.
However, one player who does not seem to be too keen on grinding it out in the Championship is midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
Wijnaldum has been consistently linked with a move away from Newcastle over the past few days and with Serie A giants Roma said to be interested, the midfielder’s agent, Humphry Nijman, went on to drop a huge hint that his client wants a move to Italy.
Nijman had told RomaNews, “Wijnaldum’s situation right now is very simple. Newcastle have been relegated to the second division, so now the player has to think about his future. At the moment I can’t say any more, and I can’t talk about negotiations.
“Roma are a great club, one of the best in Europe. How much would he cost? I can’t answer that, it’s the club that decides a player’s price. I only take care of Wijnaldum’s contract.”
Fans may well be disappointed by Wijnaldum’s desire to leave but one certainly can understand his point of view as well.
The 25-year-old was arguably Newcastle’s best player last season, scoring 11 goals and providing 5 assists for a struggling side and while he did go missing during the second half of the campaign, not many could fault his efforts.
A player of Wijnaldum’s quality perhaps deserves better than the Championship and he is certainly good enough to play in the Champions League for a club like Roma.
While fans would love to keep Wijnaldum, there are benefits to Newcastle as well if they allow the midfielder to depart this summer.
Wijnaldum is currently on wages of around £60,000-per week and while Newcastle may be able to afford it, paying such a huge amount in the Championship for a player who is not entirely committed is simply financial suicide.
If Newcastle do decide to sell Wijnaldum, they will in all probability be able to recoup most or even all of the £14.5million shelled out on his services last season as the midfielder’s value certainly did not depreciate following such a fine campaign last term.
Ideally, Newcastle would be overjoyed to see a likeable character such as Wijnaldum guide the club back to the Premier League but there are consequences of dropping into the Championship and the Magpies should look to make the best out of a bad situation regarding their star man.