Joe Kinnear was pictured with Newcastle fan Matt_Skeen at the Newcastle Central Station this morning, and that news is doing the rounds on the internet, and according to Matt, Joe was on his way to Belgium to look at a young 6’2″ striker who was 21 and playing in Belgium.
Joe also said we were after both Scott Sinclair and Tom Ince, but we wish Joe would be less outgoing about the players we may be after.
Michy Batshuayi – 19 year-old Belgium U21 International striker
On July 12th as part of our series of looking at some good young players Newcastle may be wanting to sign now. or some time in the future, we profiled Michy Batshuayi, but at the time said there was no evidence that Newcastle were interested in the player.
Well this lad could well be the one Joe is watching, and in any case Joe was never good on details – 21 years old and 6’2″ tall – this lad is 19 and 5’11” tall – close – but maybe he mentioned 21 because Michy, who turns 20 in October, has already played for the Belgian U21 side – so it’s possible.
He joined Belgium club Standard Liege back in 2008, after playing for both FC Brussels, his home town club, and RSC Anderlecht.
Batshuayi has so far scored 21 goals in 71 appearances for Standard Liege, after making his first team debut back in February, 2011, in the 4-1 loss against KAA Gent, when he was 17 years old.
Last season Michy scored 12 goals and had five assists for Liege in 36 appearances, and we always thought it would be good if Newcastle could bring in one more experienced striker – like Bafe Gomis – and then a young up-and-coming striker like Batshuayi.
Michy has played 5 times for the Belgium U21 side, but he’s just signed a new contract through June of 2017.
He’s listed on transfermarkt.com as being worth around €3.5M, which is about £3M at today’s conversion rate, and here’s some video of the youngster in action, that we showed in that article last month.
We don’t know if this is the lad who Joe Kinnear is watching, but it’s a decent bet he’s the one.
What do you think – and are there any other good young strikers in Belgium who match Joes’ description?
Note – I’ll be without a home Internet connection until Wednesday, so the articles may be a bit sketchy during that time, as I frequent Starbucks and McDonalds. 😀
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