First January Signing – Striker Arrives At Newcastle

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.

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.

Comments welcome.

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.

17 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #1

    I can see Mitrovic only used as a plan B option for Rafa and he is an expensive bench warmer if thats the case when Murphy could probably do the job just as well and would not be that bothered about sitting on the bench?

    I think Gayle will do well for us in the premiership especially if we get a no 10 and a left winger he will be sky high in confidence and will get lots of chances as teams will not sit back against us in the premiership leaving plenty of space in behind! He always looked too good to be sitting on the bench at Palace but now he has a manager who knows how to use him!

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #2

    On this signing we will probably see a lot of development players signed will take a while before we see any of them mind you!

    Thinking of Liverpool under Rafa where Sterling, Ibe and Shelvey all not signed when Rafa was there?

  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #3

    I still think Mitro is the better premier league striker out of the two. The difference between the two is the movement obviously but you have more space in the championship as in the premiership you are much closer marked and this is where the bigger forwards are better and were players like Gaye normally struggle.

    I have seen many a game where he could not hold the ball up sufficiently and he struggled. I am not trying to say he should not start at he moment. He is the inform striker and he deserves to have his name first on take teamsheet.

    I would li t think that Mitro is been trained up slowly by Rafain thewa he would like him to play and is adapting little things in his game. I also believe we will see more of him in 2017 during those wet winter months where a target man will be more required and it is less easy to play the ball trough teams.

    An interesting fact of the season.
    starts goals assists min/goal when started
    Gayle 19 17 2 93
    Mitro 5 5 2 86

  • Vask

    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #4

    Interesting stat that. As I requested earlier.

    It all remains to be seen. I hope you are correct mad-serb.

  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #5

    I also hope so hope so 🙂 and I also hope I am wrong about Gayle. His stats just suggest he will struggle in the premier league but he is still young and he could still turn out a gem of a buy but for me he was bought with this season in mind. And Rafa has hinted at that so much in some comments where he has stated that he knew he will score goals in this league. I think we all agree to some extent that he is a poacher. The problem is I cannot recall a poacher type striker in the last 5 or 6 season who made it in the premier league.

  • Vask

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #6

    Well as I don’t watch much more than toon games I couldn’t say poacher wise but maybe *ahem* Charlie Austin? What type is vardy he looks like a poacher but again haven’t really watched him.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Gayle tearing up the prem. Someone mentioned before that he could very well hit some prolific form. Again, I live in hope.

    After survival, where would you like us to finish in the prem when/if we are back?

  • hibbit

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #7


    what would you class Vardy as ?


  • Vask

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #8


    Does that mean you see Vardy as a poacher?

    Also, in relation to mad Serbs observation, would you say the age of the premier poacher is drawing to a close?

    Also, what exactly is the definition of a poaching striker?


    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #9

    PL goals to minutes last season Mitro vs Gayle are pretty similar

    As for successful poachers in the PL Vardy, Berahino, Inghalo, Wilson, Ings, Defoe, Austin, Citys young striker whose name escapes me and Sturridge off the top of my head again my opinion of a poacher I suppose but pretty sure Gayle plays in a similar style to most of those Ive mentioned

  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #10


    Vardy for me is more like the Liverpool Torres type and extra yard a pace, technical very good and quick of the mark to get in behind the defence and a decent shot

    Gayle like for like probably closest playing still is Defoe but he has a better shot and quicker and plays far more on the last man than Gayle.

    How do you guys see them

  • Mag52

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #11


    Wouldn’t you say Defoe is a bit of a poacher ?

  • Mag52

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #12


    Agreed Defoe has a better shot than Gayle, but otherwise similar sort of players.

  • jazzyp

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #13

    Mad serb

    If Rafa does not see Mitro as our no1 forward in the Championship, Then surely he will deem him surplus for our hopeful swift return to the PL

  • hibbit

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #15

    Does that mean you see Vardy as a poacher? YES

    Also, in relation to mad Serbs observation, would you say the age of the premier poacher is drawing to a close? NO

    Also, what exactly is the definition of a poaching striker? NOT SURE THERE IS ONE but my take on it would be….. a forward who scores a lot of goals from a position close to the goal
    from defenders mistakes knock downs flick ons or any scraps they can get on to

  • Belfast

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #16

    He’ll be off in January if we can get a replacement in. I predicted he would have left last summer but I don’t think anyone wanted him to be honest. Another player who was the bee’s knees when we signed him.

    Perez coming on for Gayle against Wigan said it all. We couldn’t keep the ball the whole half, clearly he would have been a much better option but obviously isn’t trusted or rated.

  • toonrobbybobson

    Dec 22, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #17

    People need to give Gayle a chance in the Prem. Hes more than capable of making the step up. Hes earned the right already and he was never given a chance at Palace when many Palace fans rated him. Rafa isnt daft and I think thats his plan, he will have sold Gayle on that to come get promoted and get his chance in the Prem off the back of scoring a hat full. People state this lot cant cut it in Prem… they can. Ritchie and Gayle definitely can. Our defence end of season had good record under Rafa in a short space of time working with them. Shelvey can cut it in Prem. Id say squad needs bulked with some more quality but we certainly have a half decent makings. Id rather we go up and sign less with more quality each season with a long term view than big numbers.


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