CHEICK Tiote believes that returning to Europe will transform Newcastle United - and help to keep the club's crown jewels.
United’s return to Continental competition was rubber stamped yesterday by Everton’s failure to win at Old Trafford, hot on the heels of the Magpies’ brilliant 3-0 win over Stoke the previous day.
It means Newcastle are assured of Europa League football next season at the very least.
However, the Champions League and a potential £20million cash injection is still on the agenda after Alan Pardew’s men moved three points clear in fourth place.
The guaranteed return of European football will alter Newcastle’s five-year plan and is a major shot in the arm for the club and their summer ambitions.
It will be a big selling point for United in their efforts to recruit players and a big consideration if clubs table offers for some of the stars who have sent the Magpies soaring again.
The usual suspects continue to be linked with clubs who have previously been able to offer guaranteed Champions League football.
But with Europe now assured, Tiote thinks the allure of moving on will be dimmed.
Instead, the likes of Yohan Cabaye – brilliant on Saturday – and Demba Ba will find themselves able to fulfil their ambitions on Tyneside.
“It is great – it is very important for this football club,” Tiote said. “For a long time the fans have not had European football but now, next season, we will be in European competition.
“It is great for the club, the fans and for everyone. It will definitely convince players to stay.
“It is important. If the team is playing in Europe, it is better for us to keep our best players.
“It will be difficult to keep our very best players if we are not playing in Europe, so to achieve this is good.
“We have a very good squad here, it is not just about one or two players – it is about the squad.”