Newcastle United’s Continued Focus On Youth

With the good news today that we may be trying to get Eren Derdiyok, the 20 year old Swiss Striker, we could do a lot worse than bringing these top youngsters into the club during the summer.


Jonny Evans – looks a great buy – if we can get him

The news on Derdiyok, coupled with the news yesterday that we could be in for Manchester United’s 20 year old defender, Jonny Evans, makes it clear that Newcastle are concentrating on getting youth through the door, at reasonable fees.

These boys, given we make good initial choices of course, can then get better as they get more experience, and catapult Newcastle to one of the best teams in the country.

That’s the plan anyway.  :D.

While these youngsters still have some way to go in their football education and development, they are already first team material.

We’re not sure if we have enough experience in the side to be able to bring in all young players during this summer, but if we can bring in say 2-3 experienced players, and then augment them by some of these top youngsters, we should be in great shape for next season.

These would be young players who could immediately fight for a first team place, and be older than other youngsters, like 15 year-old Aaron Spear, who also seems to be joining Newcastle.

Here are some young players, who we’ve been linked with over the summer and who are in their early 20s at most.

Jonny Evans (20)– Manchester United – central defender
Eren Derdiyok (20) – FC Basle – striker
Sebastian Larsson (23) – Birmingham – right midfield
Aaron Lennon (21) – Spurs – winger
Armine Chermiti (19) – Etoile Sportive du Sahel (Tunisia) – forward
Arda Turan (21) – Galatasaray – winger
Robert Acquafresca (20) – Inter-Milan – striker
Michael Bradley (20) – Herenveen – central midfield
Younes Kaboul (22) – Spurs – central defender

And we’re sure we don’t have all the youngsters above that we’ve been linked with – but we’ve tried to concentrate on those who are 22 or under.

Seb Larsson just turned 23 earlier this month, so we’ve put him in the list.

We’ve left Arda Turan on the list, although we think he’ll now be too expensive for us, and there will be bigger clubs in now, after his great displays in Euro 2008.

We think this is a great strategy for the club, and may start to pay dividends as early as next season – we hope so in any case.

Who are the other youngsters we could possibly attract to Tyneside?

Comments very welcome.

61 comments so far

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #1

    Name: Sone Aluko
    Club: Birmingham
    Nationality: English
    Date of Birth: 19/02/1989
    Height: 5′ 8″ (173cm)
    Weight: 9st 11lbs (62.0kg)
    Previous Clubs: Aberdeen (loan)
    Position: Left Wing/Striker,,10412~35471,00.html

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 29, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #2

    Jim – he looks a good one – and already playing for the England Under -21 side at 19.

  • normski1930z

    Jun 29, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #3

    yes we should try and get young players but we need a blend of youth and experience so i think we should be looking at players up to about 27.thoughts anyone???

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #4

    Sone Aluko has all the skill and pace to be a huge hit in 2-3 years. His flare at running at players and whipping fantastic crosses would supply any good striker with goals.

    He can also run in from left, take players on and shoot for himself. I would just love it if Newcastle ran the rule over him. He’s got ambition and would jump at the chance of the Premiership. If we wanted him and moved soon, I think he could be a 1st class NUFC signing. Comparible to N’Zogbia but with more potential and much more direct.

  • toonfan1

    Jun 29, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #5

    good speedy player. played well against bayern in the uefa cup a few months ago

  • mozza

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #6

    agree normski we need the blend of both youth and experience i know we wont get him but the arshavins of the world would be great for the kids to learn of and at the back someone like cuellar of rangers to steady the likes of taylor would be good and he’s still only 26

  • Ashton

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #7

    We already have Taylor , Edgar , Kadar and Tozer they are all young CB’s ! Evans will be a pointless signing imo

  • normski1930z

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #8

    defo mozza what we need to be looking at more than anything in my eyes is for quality reguardless of age,if a player of frank lampard or say didier drogbas quality sed they wanted to come to nufc would we not buy them because they are the other side of 27….. if thats the case its crazy.

  • scottish mag

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #9

    jim u always seem to be raving about aluko, do u support aberdeen lol

    aluko has looked an ok player in the spl, but so would smith lol

    dont no whether he would be worth it buting though

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #10

    I do follow the Dons just to watch a live match as I’m in Aberdeen these days. I get back down the road now and again to follow my 1st team.

    There are players in the SPL that would do a good job at St. James’:

    and… Kris Boyd!

    I hear the arguements about age and youth but this article’s about shouting out young tallent. There’s plenty of age in the Toon 1st team!

  • Gareth

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #11

    Is Aluko related to the England women’s footballer of the same name?

  • Gareth

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #12

    Never mind, yes he is.

  • Pete

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #13

    “You can’t win anything with kids”

  • Chris F

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #14

    good god jim, kris boyd?

    i think you need to lay off the irn bru, mate! 🙂

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #15

    Straight up. Kris Boyd’s prolific, determined, young and no prima donna. (cheap too).

    Aluko’s sister playes for the womens England team.

  • mozza

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #16

    the question is in say 3 weeks time who is going to be saying i told you so, the anti wise brigade or the people who now think we are being run like a proper business, i hope it’s the latter but the longer it lingers on without signing anyone the worse it’s going to get, i mean the window still hasn’t officially opened and people are already anxious as hell, because we’ve signed no one


    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #17

    I agree with jim! boyd is not the most skillfull player like Arshavin or the Quickest like oba! but one thing he is is a grafter! & we need one of those uo front! yes snith grafts & vid doesn’t but vid scores! boyd can do both! he works hard up there always in defenders faces & he always pops up with a goal to save the day! be a good addition & cost bout £2m if that! cueller would be also be gr8 buy but if i had a choice from SPL i’d take McManus jim! he’s just what we need! throw himself in front of anything CB in the terry mold! just like taylor! which may be a prob? we should buy a thinking CB in the woodgate mold! anyone come to mind guys?

  • Cloudstrife

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #18

    ‘you win nothin with kids!’

    well KK is gonna prove that saying wrong again!

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #19


    Fair shout for Stephen McManus, but would Celtic let their Captain and Scotland’s vice Captain go? Would he want to leave Champions League and 3 times title winners? Perhaps he could develop further in the EPL.

    Dunne is the kind of player you’re describing but I think that one’s a ‘no go’ now.

  • beye the great

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #20

    good but would prefer henri saivet

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #21

    I’ve only ever seen Aluko once, just looked speedy.

    Who is Saviet?

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #22

    Tom Toon…
    Try watching him a few times.

    Henri Saviet looks similar to Aluko. Aluko’s English in his favour.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #23

    Nah, he didnt make the required impact the first time i saw him for me to watch him again.

  • mozza

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #24

    he’s only 17 looks good though

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #25

    God bless the arrogance of youth.

    There was once a young player by the name of Shearer…

  • Nev

    Jun 29, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #26

    isnt jonny evans the one that got done for rape at man u ?
    thats why they loaned him to sunderland to get him away from manchester

  • Seymour Butts

    Jun 29, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #27

    saivet! someones been playing too much footy manager!!! bought him in my first season for 500k – two seasons later at the age of nineteen worth 22m with 30 goals a season. nice.

  • Flood

    Jun 29, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #28

    Henri Saivet! haha
    Ive never seen him but on football manager he turns out to be better than pato and bojan! haha
    i may youtube him!

  • Ross

    Jun 29, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #29

    jim-gers wont sell boyd sadly. my best mate (a gers fan) is convinced theyre gonna keep him and play 3 up front. but i just cant see that from them,haha. however, i do agree with what you say, he’s a out n out goalscorer, and gers dont use him like they should. i say the same about novo with them.
    i agree with you on aluko too. again i have mates who are huge dons fans and watching him throughout the year in the SPL and also in the uefa cup i was really impressed.
    remember that memorable night against bayern? what an influence he was there.

  • Leo

    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #30

    tom toon reckons he is an scout, grow up and wake up

  • The Entertainers

    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #31

    I really hope Ashley and Keegan are going ahead with youth first program.
    Some of the players mentioned by Ed would challenge the first team straight away, but even if they didnt then they at least have a promising future.

    I said in an earlier blog young / promising players are ideal for Newcastle. We can not compete for the top players, we all accept that. But the next superstars will look at us and think i stand more of a chance at Newcastle than i do at Man U etc.

    For me i would love

    & Larrsson

    However we do need 2-3 experienced players, whether this Cuellar and Aimar.

    As for kids winning nothing. I think we can rule out the league!
    But the 2 cups, come on we can really win one of those…..Cardiff / Barnsley anyone!

  • mozza

    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #32

    i would have a sneaky pop at gomez after his poor tournament but bayerns sniffing about now and stutgart are adament they want to keep him

  • The Entertainers

    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #33

    Just remember Fergie took a chance on a young portuguese winger a few years ago. He didnt think he was ready but had potential and it was his players who told him to take a chance.

    If you dont buy the ticket you cant win the lottery.


    Jun 29, 2008 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #34

    Was just thinking the same mozza! no big clubs will be to arsed about him after the shite euro he’s had but he’s still a very good player! maybe guiza is worth a go to! he looks like a hard worker & has an eye for a goal! mind you now Spain have won his value will prob go up! always happens!

  • Matthew Tom

    Jun 29, 2008 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #35

    The focus on good young players is obviously great but in my opinion we do need two strong players who are around the top of their game, one in the middle of midfield and one in the middle of defence.

    Taylor and Faye have done pretty well but one top CB of around 26-28 would make a massive difference. We can’t expect Kadar, Edgar, etc to step up full time if someone goes long term injured next season and Cacapa doesn’t seem good enough to me.

    In midfield we really do need one top quality attacking player. Owen did well in that role when we needed some creativity towards the end of last season but he won’t be happy there long term and really we want him poaching up front where he’s lethal. Geremi and Butt (and Faye) can look after things on the defensive side for a season or two more, but without Barton and with Smith being useless and Emre on the way, unless we can find the new Fabregas from somewhere we’ll need to find a quality more mature player there.

    SWP on the right wing would also be a damn good idea …

  • dcbashore

    Jun 30, 2008 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #36

    I’d love Bradley as an understudy and eventual replacement for Butt as a holding mid. Also knows how to put the ball in the back of the net.

    Grab him, Larsson, Derdiyok and a top-notch CB and I think we’d be in okay shape for next year.

  • craig chisholm

    Jun 30, 2008 at 5:01 AM

    Comment #37

    forgetting about all the young players he might or might not buy – he still cant agree a frigging fee with argle for spear and thats only coppers!! i am more interested in this martins being sold again rumor that has surfaced. If we sell him it would kind of make a mockery of Ashleys so-called intentions for us. Martins is only 23 and a massive future, if we sell we know exactly where Ashleys loyalty lies – with his wallet, first and last. i am still waiting to see solid proof that cashley is willing to invest in the team. forget paying off debt, that was a business related move and obviously made financial sense to do so. where is the investment on the pitch?? one week to pre season lads………i can sense another panic buying session coming up at the end of the window.

  • Nick Dryden

    Jun 30, 2008 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #38

    Ed I think we can afford to concentrate solely on youth development. We have enough older heads like Harper, Beye etc to oversee and help the youngsters coming through.
    It is so refreshing to see us linked with Derdiyok, Larsson and Spear. We have never been run properly before and it’s incredible how Shepherd walked away with 40M when the club was on it’s knees. Due to their crass stupidity and lack of business sense or acumen, between Shepherd, Souness and Allardyce, we have been endlessly sha..ed so much and so often with the likes of Luque, Duff, Smith and Barton.

  • Ian

    Jun 30, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #39

    Selling Martins and buying youth is a mockery, if Martins goes we are on our way down as we know he will not be replaced for a more highly experienced prolific goalscorer but an arrogant hopeful.

    The best of it is we may sell to a club which we are supposed to have based our club model on going forward!!!!! let us think for all of one second if we may have a flaw in our plan.

    If Martins exercises his get out clause i do not blame him for going, he has been valued by the fans but mistreated by the club, Martins loves our city and all they have to do is honour their agreement with him and demonstrate how important he is to our future, other players thinking of joining will know if they give 100% they will be respected to.

    The message is getting clearer from Newcastle, Ashley owns the club and he will do as he pleases, trouble is he isnt rich enough to run a club of this size as a plaything, if he knackers our club i hope it takes him down with it, Newcastle will be a no go area for him if he doesnt get his act together and start communicating with the fans.

  • Davies

    Jun 30, 2008 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #40

    Like your list Ed, but you can keep Kaboul, and it doesn’t look like we’ll get Arda now.

    If we could get Larsson I don’t think it would matter that much about Arda.

    I know it’s off the youth subject, but I’d still like to see Zigic head our way, though if we get Derdiyok we probably would need him.


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