Freddy Shepherd believes Newcastle keeping Benitez is superb business

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Benitez agreed a new deal at Newcastle United this week.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd says keeping Rafa Benitez at the club is the best business Mike Ashley has ever done during his time in charge, in comments to the Sun.

Benitez agreed a new deal at Newcastle United this week, signing a three-year contract to remain with them for the near future.

He will lead them in the Championship next season; with many now predicting they will make an instant return to the Premier League under his leadership.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley (R) in the stands with Managing Director Lee CharnleyNewcastle owner Mike Ashley (R) in the stands with Managing Director Lee Charnley

Indeed, his decision to stay has been regarded as a major coup by both pundits and fans alike, and Shepherd says it is the best bit of business Mike Ashley has done since taking over the Magpies.

“It has to go down as the best bit of business Mike Ashley has done since he took over,” he told the Sun.

“He's [Benitez] got a great track record and he's got a terrific amount of experience and that will be perfect for the predicament Newcastle find themselves in.”

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Attention now turns to what work that Benitez will undertake in the summer transfer window.

It is widely believed that something of an overhaul of the current squad is needed, and the Spaniard is sure to have major plans to do just that.

First and foremost he must discover which of his current stars will be staying, with several, such as Georginio Wijnaldum and Mousa Sissoko, reportedly eyeing exits.

Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the third goal for Newcastle from the penalty spotGeorginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the third goal for Newcastle from the penalty spot

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