Steve Howey predicts Benitez could have similar impact as Kevin Keegan

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Benitez agreed a new deal to stay at Newcastle United this week.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Speaking to the Chronicle, former Newcastle United defender Steve Howey has predicted that Rafa Benitez could have the same impact that Kevin Keegan had on the club.

Benitez has been a huge hit at St James’ Park since arriving as Steve McClaren’s replacement back in March.

He was unable to help them avoid relegation to the Championship in that time, despite a late rally at the end of the season.

It had been felt that he would leave the club after that drop, but this week agreed a new deal to remain at the club, signing a three-year deal.

Kevin Keegan - Newcastle United ManagerKevin Keegan - Newcastle United Manager

The club’s supporters have warmly welcomed the move, and Howey says that he could have a similar impact to what Keegan had on the club.

“I think he needs to sit down with a lot of players and see which of them want to stay," he told the Chronicle

“[Then] he might get some decent players because this is Newcastle United at the end of the day and he is Rafa Benitez, and he could have the same effect Kevin Keegan had.”

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

It will certainly be interesting to see what work Benitez can do in the summer transfer window.

Many believe this squad isn’t up to scratch for the fight in the Championship and changes will be needed if they are to compete.

First the Spaniard must determine which of their current stars will be staying though, with several having already been linked with 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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