Legendary Arsenal defender Martin Keown has urged Newcastle's hierarchy to wrap manager Rafa Benitez up in 'cotton wool' and give him whatever wants in order to keep him at the club.
The Spaniard oversaw a fourth consecutive home win for the Magpies on Tuesday night, as goals from Fabian Schar and academy graduate Sean Longstaff wrapped up all three points at St James' Park for the second time in three days.
With Newcastle now looking like they will avoid relegation once more, Keown insists that he must be offered whatever he wants in negotiations over a new contract - attributing the players recent upturn in form to influence from the manager..
“It was from the goalkeeper, to the back three, to the midfield players, right through the spine of the team," Keown told BT Sport after the final whistle.
"Benitez has got this magic touch and this club need to wrap him in cotton wool and offer him whatever he wants in a new contract because he is key to everything they do at this football club."
“[Benitez has] done it on a shoestring, new signings come in at the right time, and they look like they will be playing Premier League football again next season.”
Benitez has remained loyal to the St James' Park faithful though despite being linked with a number of other Premier League jobs over the past year. He was touted as a potential candidate to replace Claude Puel at Leicester over the past week or so, and was also previously linked with taking over at West Ham.
But his impressive record, coupled with the recent record signing of Miguel Almiron and promise of further investment in the summer, will undoubtedly increase the chances of Benitez signing a new deal, particularly as he has shown a willingness to commit to the club.