If Newcastle are to continue what they’ve done over the last couple of years, it’s to try to pin-point lower league young players, who can make the big step up to the Premier League.
Max Gradel – Leeds United
And there are three players we are being linked with – at least in the local Newcastle Journal today.
Let’s take a look at each one of them.
Max Gradel – shown above – is currently playing well at Leeds United and can play on either wing and also as a second striker.
The 23 year-old has played at Leicester, Bournemouth and Leeds United, and has a total of 125 first class appearances with 25 goals, and has played 54 times for Leeds United with 13 goals.
The 5’11” Gradel was born in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, back in 1987, and would join another Ivory Coast player at Newcastle – Cheick Tiote.
Max is not an International yet, but got his first call-up to the Ivory Coast senior squad last November.
Jason Puncheon – Southampton
Southampton’s 24 year-old Jason Puncheon was born in Croydon, and is currently on loan at Millwall.
5′ 8″ Puncheon can again play on either wing or as a withdrawn striker, and he has already played for a number of clubs including Wimbledon, MK Dons, Fisher Athletic, Lewes, Barnet, Plymouth Argyle, Southampton and currently on loan at Millwall.
The word on the lad is that he is a rather erratic performer, sometimes very good, and sometimes not good, but consistency should come with more games and more experience.
He has played 33 times for Southampton with 3 goals and 7 times for Milwall with 5 goals.
Darren Pratley – Swansea
The 6’1? midfielder has been at Swansea City since 2006, when he was signed from Fulham for £100K, and has played for the Welsh side 153 times with 19 goals.
Darren started his career at Fulham in 2003, and played on loan at Brentford for a couple of seasons from 2005 through 2006, and appeared 54 times for Brentford scoring 5 goals, during his two loan spells.
The 25 year-old Barking-born player has been linked with Newcastle before, and as recently as a couple of months ago.
Let us know who of the three you think would be able to make it at Newcastle.