Three Lower League Players Now Linked With Newcastle

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5′ 8″ Puncheon can again play on either wing or as a withdrawn striker, and he has already played for a number of clubs including Wimbledon, MK Dons, Fisher Athletic, Lewes, Barnet, Plymouth Argyle, Southampton and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.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • GeordieToon89

    Jan 4, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #1

    Charlie Austin for the win..defo worth a gamble only 21 and he is one hell of a finisher and could get him for about £1.4million could even bring him in and get keane on loan

  • Bucks mag

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #2

    Gradel looks worth a punt, Puncheon= no way, we’ve already got enough CMs beside Pratley coming in.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #3

    All 3 are good potential, I think Gradel is an excellent prospect, he has looked in good form for Leeds this season.

  • Charlietoon

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #4

    Sell Smith,Best and xisco and get em all 🙂

  • Alinufc

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #5

    gradel looks awesome and will give some company to tiote
    other two not so sure bout unforunatey never really seen them play

  • daNufc

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #6

    As a Toon fan living in Swansea I can tell you Pratley can either be outstanding or he can go missing I think with an experienced CM with him he would be a good addition to the squad but he would be a squad player at best.

    I think best bet would be get Adam le Fondre in hes young still has plenty of time in front oh him but more importantly can score goals be a far better addition than Leon best.

    I’d also say possibly have a look at Charlie Austin as mentioned above a good talent and can only get better.

  • ginkoh

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #7

    No one can improve our squad on term of quality.

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #8

    Sell Smith, Xisco and Perch, give Best a chance as he showed promise when he came on against Wigan and once we sell them three get Gradel, Puncheon and Pratley.

  • HaZ-NUFC

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #9

    if you buy championship players you become an championship team…..

  • The Power Ranger

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #10

    HaZ-NUFC- i’m sure David Moyes would beg to differ! Lescott and Jagielka both came from championship and are now both in the England set-up!

  • daNufc

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #11

    HaZ-NUFC – Where are these players gonna come from we can’t keep paying over the odds for a bit part striker from abroad look in the lower leagues there are talents that can make it in the Prem – Williamson came through the leagues? Tim Cahill was playing for Millwall

  • alip123

    Jan 4, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #12

    I think the only one who I would sign out of those 3 is Gradel… Smith I think try and sell with Xisco, both’s wages are astronomical and Smith is getting on a bit.
    Xisco never plays and we need to offload him.
    Keep Best and Perch for the time being, Best has not had an opportunity and Perch has at times played well, and plays his heart out like against Spurs. We need a striker though and a full back on both sides as well as a winger to challenge Gutierrez cos Routledge is inconsistent and Neither can consistently play. HWTL FOR TOMORROW!!!

  • Sav

    Jan 4, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #13

    We were sorry to miss out on V. Moses and that lad at Derby – can’t even remember his name now, he’s been injured that much.
    That’s the trouble with young ‘uns. you need a crystal ball to sign ’em.

  • expatgeordie

    Jan 4, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #14

    Gradel is the only one worth having

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Jan 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #15

    Gradel the only choose

  • tjshawsey

    Jan 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #16

    Williamson I believe ( correct me I I’m wrong) was playing at Wycombe when they were in league 2 about 2 years ago. It irritates when people say things like “championship players= championship team”. Players have to start somewhere and they can’t all be horded by big clubs. Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott spring to mind too.

  • BeeGuy

    Jan 4, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #17

    NUFC needs some bodies, but AP has made some tactical changes and there has been improvement from some positions. AP has Routledge coming back much deeper which puts him in a setting where he is turned and facing the opponents goal when he gets the ball. That really helps him use his speed, as we all saw him sprint around his markers during his appearance. That immediately helped Jonas get some space, too. Tiote is now playing in a more advanced attacking role & disrupting the defenses, if he can develop a hard, low shot he could really put pressure on the central defenders who just want to clump onto Carroll.

    From the above, I can see AP’s request for a polished acquisition but NUFC also mostly bringing in youngsters with the tools that can be honed to PL standards.

  • UpdaToon

    Jan 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #18

    The truth is we definitely need a midfielder and well somebody who can be drafted in straight away with experience. Maybe this guy could do the job

  • daNufc

    Jan 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #19

    UpdaToon – Midfielders no Wingers yes – With Smith unlikely to go anywhere you need to think we have Gosling and Ben Arfa to come back on tip of guthrie nolan barton smith tiote and with a couple of youngsters coming through I would say its more important to get a decent left winger who can cross instead of Jonas who is poor

  • shearer4pm

    Jan 4, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #20

    rather have billy sharp or nicky maynard

  • gorskino10

    Jan 4, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #21

    Pratley is ok nothing special too slow on the ball and not what we need in Midfield, and Puncheon is a strange one he is like Routledge or Jonas a player who plays 1 great game followed by 4/5 of nothing he was like that at Southampton where he got loaned from if he ISNT good enough for Southampton he isnt good enough for us.

    Gradel looks the only one who is any good has good technical ability and raw pace which is what we need and a winger who can CROSS and SCORE wud be nice too.

  • mattyNUFC

    Jan 4, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #22

    Whoever said that about Pratley going missing sometimes is correct. If there were two Swansea players who could improve us i think they would be:

    Angel Rangel – see the match he played against us last year. pace, retention, distribution. He’s having an even better season this year

    Scott Sinclair – just signed from Chelsea for a meager 500k, has 13 goals in all competitions for the swans (given 4 came in one carling cup game) but if we are looking for a foil for AC9, i think he would be perfect. He’s always in the action, he works hard to get back and is always in the thick of things, never waiting for something to come his way. oh, and did i mention he’s only 21?

    what do you guys think? have you seen either of them play enough this season to make a real assessment?

  • mattyNUFC

    Jan 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #23


    I too like the look of Maynard


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