Newcastle United have agreed a deal with Stefan O’Connor according to claims on Thursday morning.
It is ESPN who have broken the story and they say that sources close to the player have confirmed that a deal has been agreed after the defender has been training with the rest of the Newcastle squad this week.
The 20 year old defender became a free agent at the end of June after Arsenal decided not to offer him another contract.
This morning saw the Chronicle follow up the ESPN story with confirmation that Stefan O’Connor has indeed been training with Newcastle and they understand a two year deal is on the table.
After making a Champions League debut when only 17, the young defender found his way blocked to first team action just like so many other promising Arsenal players.
It was back in December 2014 when he got his first and only first team action, replacing Mathieu Debuchy for the final 13 minutes of a 4-1 win at Galatasaray.
O’Connor joined Crystal Palace at the age of 13 and apart from that solitary Champions League appearance, the only other first team football he has seen has been on loan at York City and MVV Maastricht in Holland, playing four times for each club.
A versatile player who can play at both centre-back and right-back, he is obviously a low risk signing if he does/has indeed joined Newcastle.
Not a signing to set the pulse racing but even in this day and age, not an impossibility for a player to not make it at one club and be released, only to then be a success elsewhere.
Newcastle have the prime example in Dwight Gayle, who was actually let go also by Arsenal as a teenager.
The striker dropping out into non-league football before going up through the divisions right up to the Premier League.
Isaac Hayden is less than two years older than Stefan O’Connor so you can only assume that Rafa Benitez would have at some stage asked the midfielder’s opinion on his former Arsenal teammate.