Two talented Arsenal players should be targeted by Rafa Benitez if Newcastle United are promoted in May.

That is the view of former Sunderland defender, now pundit, Michael Gray.

He thinks that Newcastle would need to add quality going forward and the two Arsenal players he has put forward are Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Recent seasons have seen both England internationals with injury problems and not nailed on regulars in the first team, although Walcott has found more favour this season and started 18 Premier League matches.

Oxlade-Chamberlain turns 24 in August and Walcott 28 in March, so both with plenty of football in front of them, if they can stay fit.

Rafa Benitez has already made clear he wants to bring in at least one new winger and whether he returns for Andros Townsend remains to be seen, if Newcastle are promoted.

Newcastle are top scorers in the Championship and also have the meanest defence – but there is a realisation for most United fans that serious money will need to be spent to ensure chances and goals are created if there is a return to the top tier.

Money will also have to be spent on the defence but it is the players who create and score goals who cost a premium.

Let’s hope we cross this next 14 game hurdle first and then we can sit back and enjoy Rafa Benitez on a Premier League shopping trip.

Michael Gray speaking to Talksport:

Newcastle fans do like their wide players.

“They’ve certainly had some very talented wide players over the years.

“And with Newcastle coming up, it is a stadium that has found it difficult over the years to attract players.

“If they are to get back to where they belong then (Theo) Walcott and (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain are the type of players that they have to look for.”