17-year-old former Recreativo de Huelva striker Juan Lopez has arrived on Tyneside and the player, who is also known as Juanito, has joined the club and he is said to be an exciting young prospect.
Manager Rafa Benitez wants to improve the quality of the squads at every level at the Newcastle club and he is keen to bring in young talent who can play initially for the Newcastle U18 or the U23 sides.
Lopez becomes the first signing of the January transfer window and we are hoping some first team players will also be brought in next month.
17 year-old Juanito at the Back Page Shop in Newcastle
The news was first reported back in late November that Newcastle were to sign the teenager in January.
the news at that time was that that the promising young player will join Newcastle and train with the U23 side – that’s with Peter Beardsley’s Development Group.
At 17 that’s a step up from the usual team he would play for – the Newcastle U18 side.
Juanito was sold by Recreativo de Huelva because of the poor financial position of the Spanish third division club, but the new Directors at the club have since promised fans they will try to keep their top young players in the future.
Newcastle have had the policy since early 2008 of bringing in talented young players to the club and it was Chairman Chris Mort who announced the new initiative back in January, 2008.
But the club have been unsuccessful in bringing young players through to the first team but hopefully that is now likely to change with the contacts Rafa Benitez has around the world.
Juanito has issued a few tweets on his Twitter account and is being congratulated by the Newcastle fans.
Muchas gracias a todos los del NUFC por la bienvenida, un orgullo defender este escudo!! pic.twitter.com/PvzmqGjO7L
— juanitooolopeeeez (@juanitoloopez) December 21, 2016
The translation from the Spanish is:
“Many thanks to all the NUFC for the welcome, a pride to defend this shield !!”
Let’s hope that Juanito can make the first team at Newcastle and sooner rather than later – that will be the acid test for youngsters arriving on Tyneside in the future.
Note: Reader Elliot Little will be braving the sub-zero temperatures on the Great Wall of China this Christmas to raise money for mental health charity MIND.
Elliot will camp out with his friend on Christmas Eve overnight on a challenging section of the wall before trekking around the relativelty under-explored area of Jiankou on Christmas Day.
Here’s more information on the trek and his justgiving page.
And finally here ‘s the latest from the Old Geordie Geezer.