Ex-Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark names Magpies' best addition to their playing squad this summer

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark

The Championship side will be looking to secure an instant return to the top flight.

Kilmarnock manager Lee ClarkFormer Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark

Former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark has claimed that Rafael Benitez is undoubtedly the Magpies' best signing this summer, before adding that Matt Ritchie is the addition to the playing squad that he is most excited about, the Mirror reports.

United are preparing for a campaign in the second tier following their relegation from the Premier League last season. Despite the disappointment however, there is a sense of excitement on Tyneside following Benitez's decision to stay and several astute signings. 

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conferenceNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

And while the Spaniard staying is the best piece of business in Clark's mind, he admitted that it is the winger's arrival from Bournemouth that gives him the most confidence ahead of the season. 

"Whatever happens before that transfer window closes, it won't change one thing – that Benitez was the best signing of the summer," he told the Mirror.

"Having said that, the club has made some fantastic signings so far. Dwight Gayle, Grant Hanley – but the one for me that stands out is Matt Ritchie – I would have been pleased if we had signed him in the Premier League – so to have got him in the Championship is a real coup."

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie has a shot at goalMatt Ritchie

The likes of Hanley, Gayle and Ritchie arrive at St James' Park with plenty of experience from playing in both of the top two divisions in England, so will not only prove valuable as the team attempt to secure promotion at the first time of asking, but as they look to re-establish themselves well away from the relegation picture in the top flight. 

And with the existing squad showing during the latter stages of last season that they are capable of beating some of the best sides at the highest level, it appears that Benitez's men have more than enough quality to get themselves back to where they feel they belong. 

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez before the match

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