‘Only a matter of time’ - Harry Redknapp on Newcastle United’s top four chances amid Blackburn comparison

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The Magpies are firmly in the hunt for a European place after making an impressive start to the season.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp believes it is ‘only a matter of time’ before Newcastle United become a Champions League club.

The flagging fortunes suffered for large parts of Mike Ashley’s 13-year ownership at St James Park feel a lifetime ago after a PIF-led takeover revived hope and belief on Tyneside. The appointment of Eddie Howe has proved to be a shrewd move after the former Bournemouth manager guided the Magpies away from the Premier League relegation zone and into mid-table security by the time last season came to a close.

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With January signings like Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Bruno Guimaraes leading from the front, a further recruitment drive during the summer transfer window brought more progress after the likes of Nick Pope and Sven Botman were tempting into moving to Tyneside. Results so far this season have been impressive and Howe’s side sit in third place ahead of their return to Premier League action at Leicester City on Boxing Day.

Redknapp admitted that he does not think United can sustain their top-four form this season - but will make the breakthrough into the Champions League over the coming years as they flex their financial muscle in a way similar to the spend that led Alan Shearer’s Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title during the mid-1990s.

Callum Wilson, Joelinton, Kieran Trippier and Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United celebrate after Adam Smith (not in frame) of AFC Bournemouth scores an own goal during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St James' Park on December 20, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Callum Wilson, Joelinton, Kieran Trippier and Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United celebrate after Adam Smith (not in frame) of AFC Bournemouth scores an own goal during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St James' Park on December 20, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Callum Wilson, Joelinton, Kieran Trippier and Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United celebrate after Adam Smith (not in frame) of AFC Bournemouth scores an own goal during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St James' Park on December 20, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

He told BetVictor: “Well, I think they (Newcastle) can finish in the top seven and they could well make the top six this year I don’t see them finishing in the top four, but I do think and again, it depends on what he spends in the transfer window. They’ve got unlimited money, t’s only a matter of time before they’re a top-four team.

“They’ve got so much money to spend and at the end of the day if you’ve got the money and can buy the top players, you can. That’s how the game works. Blackburn won the league with Jack Walker, he went out and bought Shearer and people like that and Sutton and bought top players in. If Newcastle go out and spend big again in the window, then in the next three or four years they will be challenging for the title because the spending power they have, will make that happen, obviously.”

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