Fuelled by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Newcastle return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years at AC Milan on Tuesday hoping this is just the start of their rise on the European stage.
The Magpies have spent more time in the Championship than facing Europe’s elite for the past two decades, but are aiming to follow in the footsteps of Manchester City by turning their Gulf state backing into glory at home and abroad.
The Italian is expected to return to Howe’s starting line-up for his homecoming after sitting out the win over Brentford on the bench with a minor injury suffered on international duty.
These are the nights of glamour that Newcastle fans longed for during the drab 14 years under previous owner Mike Ashley.
That is the consistency Newcastle now expect at Europe’s top table with Tuesday the first step of another Saudi aim to make their mark on European football.
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