Jermaine Jenas has told BBC 5 live Sport that he would not sign for Newcastle United now if he were a young player.
The 32-year-old midfielder was on the books of Newcastle from 2002 to 2005, establishing himself as one of the better players in the Premier League and earning a move to Tottenham Hotspur.
“I joined Newcastle because they were a club full of aspiration with world class players. Shearer was there, Bellamy, Dyer,” Jenas told BBC 5 live Sport. “Players all striving to get in the Champions League and we achieved that two years on the spin…
When asked whether he would join the club now if he were a young player, Jenas said: "I wouldn't have gone there, it's as simple as that.
"As a teenager aspiring to achieve things in the Premier League is Newcastle one of those clubs anymore which make you go 'yeah I know I can go there and achieve a lot and develop into the player that I want?' I'm not so sure.”
It is a damning statement from Jenas and highlights just how far Newcastle have fallen.
Just over 10 years ago, the Magpies were challenging for a top-four finish in the Premier League, but now they are pretty much an also-ran.
However, some young players would still be inclined to move to Newcastle because of the history of the club and their pedigree.
Moreover, many promising young players could see Newcastle as a stepping stone to a bigger team.
That still does not eclipse the fact that Newcastle are lacking aspirations to really compete for top honours and major silverware.
Perhaps that will change in the coming years…
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