Newcastle United are interesting in signing Connor McBride according to reports today.

The young striker is said to have impressed Newcastle scouts when turning out for Falkirk’s development side.

Rafa Benitez made clear (see below) earlier this month that he is determined to bring in players both from England and overseas to improve the quality at NUFC, both in the first team and with younger players below, now The Sun say that Connor McBride could be the latest to be brought into the youth set-up.

In February, Victor Fernandez became the sixth youngster recruited from around the World during this season, joining Otto Huuhtanen (Finland), Mo Sangare (Liberia), Elias Sorensen (Denmark), Juanito (Spain) and Tyrique Bartlett (son of former South African international Shaun Bartlett, who was at Charlton for six years).

Newcastle United are clearly a world away from having the youth development structure that sees certain other clubs produce player after player for their first teams.

The likes of Southampton, Everton, Leeds and others, have a production line that produces year after year.

The last home match saw yet another perfect example as 16 year old Ryan Sessegnon turned in a superb display and scored two goals to hand Fulham victory.

If Rafa Benitez gets the chance to build over a period of years, Newcastle United could one day be doing the same.

Rafa Benitez talking to NUFC TV earlier this month:

“It would be perfect to have a lot of local players, homegrown players, playing in the first team…but it isn’t easy.

“It is not difficult here…it is not easy everywhere (else).

“You can sign players from Spain, France, Holland or Italy and they are just academy players – they go alongside the English ones.

“To have someone (like Paul Dummett) who can go into the first team and play so many games is really good for the spirit of the team.

“The ideal situation would be to bring a couple of players from our academy each year – but if you want to compete at the highest level it is difficult.

“If you want to do that you have to bring in players from outside, or abroad, to compete with the other teams.”

City Hall Gifts - shop.themag.co.uk