There are reports in the Sunday papers today that Newcastle are ready to step up their chase for Shay Given’s long-term replacement at the club, but we don’t believe it.
Huddersfield’s promising young goalkeeper Alex Smithies
The news suggests that Newcastle will be making a move for Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies. Alex just turned 19 year old earlier this month, so he’s still young, for somebody who seems very good already.
And according to reports in the People this morning, the young keeper has been watched by a number of Premier League scouts in the past few months, with Spurs, Wigan and Newcastle all said to be interested in the player.
Apparently first team coach Colin Calderwood watched his performance in the mid week draw against the MK Dons.
Huddersfield manager and former Newcastle coach and player Lee Clark has quickly moved to sign Smithies to a long term deal (wise move), in order to strengthen Huddersfield’s negotiating position in case of a future sale.
There seems no doubt however that the youngster, who has played for all England teams through to Under-19 level, is a top future goalkeeper, who has already played 21 times for Huddersfield. He is 6’1″ tall and was born in Huddersfield.
The valuation on the youngster is £3M, but Newcastle have long term goalkeeper Steve Harper (safe as houses) playing well as a replacement to Shay Given, and two 20 year-old top youngsters in Dutchman Tim Krul and local lad Fraser Forster, both fighting to be the back up.
So why we need another goalkeeper at Newcastle? If Newcastle did sign the youngster, they would need to let one of our 20 year-olds move on, and that would probably be Tim Krul, the Dutch Under-21 keeper, who Feyenoord are said to be very keen on.
We would fully expect one of the young goalkeepers to go out on loan next season to get first team experience, and the other to be back up to Steve Harper.
But there’s little doubt these two young goalkeepers, already at the club, look top quality, and another example of how the Newcastle Youth policy is already starting to pay off.