We had already seen Otto Huuhtanen (Finland), Mo Sangare (Liberia), Elias Sorensen (Denmark) and Juanito (Spain) join Newcastle and link up with the Academy – now Tyrique Bartlett can be added to the list.

Reported to have agreed a three year contract, the son of former South African international Shaun Bartlett, who was at Charlton for six years, is just awaiting international clearance.

The 17 year old striker has been pictured at St James Park (well wrapped up! – see below), Tyrique Bartlett is the one on the right

We recently highlighted that there had been an improvement already under Rafa Benitez at Academy and Reserve team level, with stats showing a significant improvement in results up to Christmas 2016, as compared to the same period last season (see them HERE).

There is no total quick fix and any major overhaul of the youth set-up will take years BUT great to see Rafa Benitez being so proactive in the meantime in terms of strengthening at Academy level.

Whilst Bartlett is awaiting international clearance for him to play competitively – he did though put on an NUFC shirt for the first time on Thursday, as a friendly at Under 23 level was organised against Burnley, Tyrique Bartlett replacing Tom Heardman (scored three) for the final half hour in the 7-0 stroll for United.

Shaun Bartlett is now the manager of the University of Pretoria FC and son Tyrique was recently with them before joining up with Newcastle.

All Newcastle fans will be hoping that this level of action being taken at Academy level is a strong indication that Rafa Benitez sees Newcastle United as a long-term project, with a long stay in prospect to sort the club from top to bottom.