Rafa Benitez is set to be in charge of ‘a really important’ Premier League club next season…if he keeps Newcastle up.

Rival boss Ronald Koeman was asked today if he thought Benitez had risked his reputation by taking the Newcastle job when he did.

However, the Southampton boss said he could understand why the role appealed because if Rafa Benitez keeps Newcastle up, Koeman believes it could be a great job for him.

Ronald Koeman says that Newcastle United are not just any Premier League club and are one of the ‘big’ ones in England.

At the same time he accepts that Rafa has a very ‘difficult situation’ and will be desperate for a win on Saturday.

Ronald Koeman asked if Rafa Benitez has risked his reputation by taking the Newcastle job:

“It is difficult. He had talks with the club (Newcastle), he had a feeling (to take the job), if he thinks he can keep the team in the Premier League…of course it is a good opportunity for a manager.

“Because we are talking about a big club in the Premier League, Newcastle are not a small one, it is a really important club in the Premier League.

“Who, why (in trouble), because they have some good players, they spend a lot of money, but maybe third year in a row they are struggling in the Premier League.

“But you have to be inside (Newcastle United) to reach the conclusion as to why they are really struggling.”

‘I bet you don’t envy Rafa Benitez trying to sort things out?’

“It is always difficult, he came in with them already in a difficult situation and difficult for any manager to change it in one or two weeks.

“You need time but in football you don’t get that time, you need points and you need wins – that is the situation of Newcastle.”