Newcastle United has secured a top-four finish, which means they will be in the Champions League next season. This is the first time the Magpies have qualified for Europe’s premier competition since 2003. At the start of the season, Champions League football was not even on the agenda for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United “[Our expectation this term] certainly wasn’t top four”. When Howe took over on November 8th, 2021, Newcastle was 19th in the Premier League table. Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff told Sky Sports that if you had told them two years ago that this would happen, they wouldn’t have believed you.
The team’s fortunes changed when Newcastle, struggling in the Premier League relegation zone, was controversially taken over in a Saudi Arabia-backed £305m deal on October 7th, 2021. Thirteen days later, manager Steve Bruce was sacked. By December, and with Howe now in charge, the Magpies had only seven points from 14 matches. However, being able to spend £85m in January helped transform their season as they finished 11th.
This campaign, Newcastle has lost just five league matches, bringing Champions League football back to St James’ Park after 20 years. Howe was quick to play down any talk about big summer spending in the transfer market, stating that there is a very small pool of players to look at and that they have to recruit wisely. But with Newcastle united having the richest owners in football we could expect some big signings coming their way.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher praised Newcastle, saying that they are two to three years ahead of schedule. Ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville noted that Howe has done one of the best jobs in the Premier League and that there is a humility about what the owners have done.
Newcastle faces Chelsea on the last day of the season, and a win would take them to 73 points, which would be their highest Premier League total since 1996. Even though the team has been through tough times, midfielder Nolberto Solano, who played