Jose Enrique has started the process of settling in at Newcastle as a 21 year-old – after signing for the club forÂ Â£6.3M yesterday. It’s never an easy process for a young player and in the past, especially under Bobby Robson, we were not successful in bringing throughÂ young stars.
Several of the young stars we bought like Hugo Viana (Â£8M) from Portugal and Deigo Gavilan (Â£2M) from Paraguay didn’t make the transition and fell by the wayside. When they arrived at Newcastle they both were 19 years old.
We think Jose will be different because Sam will ensure he’s brought along slowly and a support group, with Albert Luque playing a prominent part, has already been set up to assist Jose in learningÂ the ropes at the club and in his new town.
Jose talked to Luke Edward of the Newcastle Journal today:
â€œI am ready to go and if Sam wants to play me this weekend I am ready,â€
â€œEnglish football is fast and physical, especially for defenders. Strikers like to get stuck in, but that isnâ€™t a problem for me.”
“It has all happened very quickly. It is a great challenge to play in the Premiership, but I am under no illusions that it will be easy.”
“Â I know just what an historic club Newcastle is and I am excited by the plans the directors and board have for the club.â€
Manager Sam Allardyce talked about Jose:
â€œJose has hopefully got a very good future in front of him, but we will feed him in slowly. You wonâ€™t see him at Bolton, or at least I hope you wonâ€™t, because I would not want to do that.”
” Iâ€™d like to use the players who have done so well in pre-season for the first few games, with the new ones coming in after that.”
“Â It does not matter about Alan Smith because he knows what the Premiership is all about and heâ€™s okay. Mark Viduka knows all about the Premiership as well and what it takes to be successful.”
“But we will ease in Claudio CaÃ§apa and Jose when they have got the feel of it.â€
Jose is very pleased to have Albert Luque at the club and Albert has vowed to look after Jose. Not only will that be good for Enrique it should also help Albert himself becasue it gives him a littleÂ more responsibility at the club and therefore closer ties to it. We think this situation is a win-win for both of them.
â€œTo have Albert Luque in the squad is great for me. To have another Spaniard there as I start out in Newcastle can only help me. Albert says he is going to take care of me at Newcastle. “
“I donâ€™t know Sam Allardyce directly but I am told he has great faith in young players and that is great. It is very positive news. I met him for dinner and I was very happy to hear his plans for Newcastle.â€
â€œHe treated me very well and he understands me. He knows I have to get used to a lot of new things, like changes in culture and language, but he says heâ€™s going to help me adapt to that. He says he is going to have patience with me.â€
Let’s hope Jose gets intoduced nice and slowly, as Sam suggests, and gets the support he will obviously need – because we hope heÂ this boyÂ can become the left-back at Newcastle for many years to come.Â WeÂ also expect him to get a full Spanish cap before the season is out.
Comments very welcome.