There is news in the Sunday press today that Newcastle are close to signing wonder kid Nathan Dekoke of St. Etienne, and we were first linked with this player a couple of weeks ago.
Nathan Dekoke – 17 year-old St. Etienne defender
The left-footed St Etienne defender was born in Aubervilliers and plays at center-half or left-back, and he has already played for the France U18 side and is one of the best young players in France at the moment.
Fulham are also said to be interested in the French youngster, but it’s hardly surprising that Dekoke wants a move to Tyneside, where he will find lots of French players in the Newcastle squad, and will find it easy to settle in on Tyneside.
The news is that Newcastle have already offered the player a four-year deal and the 17 year-old is the type of player Joe Kinnear and Chief Scout Graham Carr are on the look out for, and it’s not surprising that his contract at the French club also runs out this summer.
But Newcastle will still need to pay St. Etienne some compensation for the lad, although that compensation will likely be small.
Newcastle brought in 17 year-old Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu last January and then young Frenchman Olivier Kemen from Metz in July, so we’ve brought in two top young players last year.
It’s an important part of the Newcastle strategy that we spot top youngsters while they are still young, and then bring them to Tyneside to develop them into top class players, but we haven’t been too successful in making that work over the last six years.
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