No matter how much Newcastle United spend this summer, forward Ayoze Perez knows the Magpies return to the Premier League will be no walk in the park.
Perez has known little but struggle in the top flight since his 2014 switch from Tenerife.
It will be difficult
His first season at United ended in a relegation battle, which needed a win over West Ham on the last day to ensure Newcastle lived to fight another day.
Then his side’s luck ran out as Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland edged United out in the race to avoid the top flight drop in 2015/16.
Last season saw brighter days return to St James’s Park with the dramatic final day triumph over Barnsley, coupled with Brighton’s Aston Villa blip, seeing Rafa Benitez’s men lift the second tier trophy, despite being seven points behind with just three games to play.
And having held succesful talks with Mike Ashley this summer, Benitez is set to spend big to build a squad capable of competing in the top flight.
Perez can see nothing but positive times ahead for Newcastle.
But he knows that no matter how much United spend this summer, they might find life tough among the big boys yet again.
“It will be difficult,” said the 23-year-old Spaniard.
“I say this because every year the Premier League is getting better.
“There are a lot of quality players coming to the division - it happens year after year.
“Every team improves their squad and spends a lot of money so we have to be ready.
“We have to think about what we have to do, and I think it’s going to be a great year for us.”
Having suffered two relegation battles and a promotion in his three years on Tyneside, few would forgive Perez for wanting a year of midtable mediocraty.
And while that would be no bad return to the big time for United, that’s just not in his manager’s make-up.
“We are promoted, let’s enjoy it a little bit,” said Perez when asked about next season.
“We have lots of time to think about the Premier League.
“What we can do as players is make sure that we are ready for it.”