The timing of Eddie Howe’s new long-term contract at Newcastle has been called into question by Darren Bent.
On the eve of the new Premier League season, the Magpies announced fresh terms for Howe, whose previous deal ran until 2024.
The 44-year-old Englishman took over at St James’ Park in November 2021 following the Saudi-backed takeover – and steered the club well clear of relegation.
A club statement issued on Friday afternoon said: “Newcastle United are delighted to confirm that head coach Eddie Howe has signed a new long-term contract at St James’ Park.”
It added: “The team was still pursuing its first Premier League win of the season at the time of Howe’s arrival, however he guided United to 11th place during the 2021-22 campaign, finishing 14 points clear of the bottom three and just two points off the top 10.”
Howe was given £94million in January to beat the drop and Newcastle have spent a further £55m in the summer window.
But ex-Premier League striker Bent insists success is not guaranteed for the Toon Army this season – and holding fire on a new deal for Howe might have been wise.
“He’s done fantastically well since he’s been there,” Bent told talkSPORT.
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“You look at their form under him after the tunr of the year, they’d be in the top-four with the performances they put in.
“I thought they would’ve held fire just to see how the season starts.
“There’s a lot of expectation around Newcastle. Botman is a good signing, they’ve got Targett, but I thought there would’ve been a few more.
“For Howe, it’s a massive show of faith and confidence that they’ve got all the money in the world but they believe he’s the right man to take them forward.
“It’s positive news for Newcastle.”
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