We had some news yesterday that Newcastle were after 17 year-old Coventry City defender Jordan Willis, and it seems Newcastle are still after another top young star at the same club – 18 year-old midfielder Gael Bigirimana, who’s been likened to Michael Essien.
Gael Bigirimana – with his Championship Apprentice of the Year award
That’s because the Coventry City midfielder is all-action when he plays, and news today in the Daily Star that Newcastle are leading the chase for the top youngster.
With Coventry being relegated to League One last season, they are in need of cash, so it will largely depend on whether Newcastle and Coventry can agree a fee for the youngster, who was voted Championship Apprentice of the Year for last season.
The same award was won by Ipswich striker Connor Newton in the previous year – with Connor now on Sunderland’s books.
And when the youngster won the award in March, the Coventry City Academy chief Gregor Rioch had this to say on the club’s official site:
“We are all so proud of Gael. It’s no less than he deserves.” “The lad is a shining example of what our Academy system is about and the way he has taken this season in his stride has been fantastic to watch.”
“He’s a superb young lad to work with and the way we have watched him develop into a player and a young man off the pitch has been fantastic.” “He deserves all the congratulations he gets from this.”
Bigirimana made 28 appearances for Andy Thorn’s first team last term, and of course Newcastle are always after top youngsters, especially if they are playing in England, and from what Gregor says about above, it seems he’s also a top lad.
A source close to the player had this to say to the Daily Star yesterday:
“The boy is very highly rated and it is clear he possesses bundles of talent.” “A lot of Premier League clubs were watching him towards the end of the season and nobody more than Newcastle, who were regular visitors to the Ricoh Stadium.”
“Coventry know they face a real fight to keep him after their relegation from the Championship and if a big enough bid comes in they will have to take it.”
Alan Pardew is looking to boost his squad for the Europa League next season, and he is also looking to build up the depleted Development squad, after nine youngsters were allowed to leave the club, when their contracts run out at the end of the month.
Bigirimana was born in Burundi and he is of Congolese descent, and he moved as a refugee from his home country with his mother back in 2004 to England, having lived for a while in Uganda.
This lad looks a good player, and of course he would go straight into the first team squad at Newcastle, and it’s this kind of exciting youngster that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is very keen to sign.