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Newcastle Lead The Race For The Next Michael Essien

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.

Here’s hoping.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • Grafton83

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #1

    Am i 1st

  • robertsleftfoot

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #2

    Would be nice to see this lad come join us as he would not cost the world but he does seem like a very good talent, and if we can nurture him for a year or so he may become a very very very good player

  • ginkoh

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #3

    Look decent youngster with potential. With Tiote Cabaye Jonas around, he can develop to be good player here.

    P.S. Connor Whickham not Newton, Ed.

  • Grafton83

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #4

    Not so sure he would go straight into the first team squad, Coventry fans seem to suggest he has a long way to go before he’s going to be ready.

  • Ben3arfa

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #5

    would lobe to see him join us

  • archaeomag

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #6

    “News” now means anything made up by a journalist/ agent / man in the pub;
    I heard from a dog that knows Rosie47 that AP is off to Spurs and he’s taking Ba with him, we are getting Fabio & Robbie Keane .. . .

  • GFH

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #7

    If we can buy him , we could immediately tell Coventry to keep him on loan for next season to sweeten their loss.

  • voodoo85

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #8

    whats with debuchys twitter saying #nufc #newcastleunited

  • cupiddstunt

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #9

    Archaeomag @ # 6

    You trying to say you know a dog that talks????

    I’m not believing that for one moment that you know a talking dog although that stuff you say it told you could well be true.

  • Agent Stardust

    Jun 17, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #10

    I’ve just been having chat with Peter lovenkrands at gatwick airport and he is still hopeful of getting another contract at the toon.

    He said the same to me last month. Nice chap.

  • SupaToonKid

    Jun 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #11

    Would be a good signing but i think we should loan him out to a Championship side so he can continue his education of the game as he isn’t Michael Essien mk. 2 just yet. There are a couple of young lads at Cov as well as Birgirimana such as Jordan Willis and Cyrus Christie who i reckon we’ll also be looking at as Cov have a good selection of youngsters who have a big future in the game if nutured right.

    And Ed you need to stop calling the lad at Scumderland Conor Newton as it’s Conor Wickham. Conor Newton is the big ginger reserves for us!

  • Ben Arfa (Either love him or Hatem)

    Jun 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #12

    Fake Debuchy… He follows back – ‘nuf said

  • DraperNUFC10

    Jun 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #13

    Everyone follow me on twitter @Daniel_Draper95, I’ll follow back!!

  • miggy

    Jun 19, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Comment #14

    haha love reading ur comments yas are mad propa funny lol love it


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