Whilst his teammates were thousands of miles away in America, last Thursday Newcastle midfielder Olivier Kemen was attempting to lead his country into the finals of the Under 19 European Championships.

Now though, the midfielder who turned 19 on Monday is reported by L’Equipe to be a target for AC Milan, with his agents said to have met the Serie A club for transfer talks already.

In those Under 19 European Championships, the French Captain sat out the opening 1-0 group win over Austria but then led his country to victories over both Ukraine (3-1) and Greece (2-0), ensuring qualification for the semi-finals with nine points out of nine.

A tight semi-final last against Spain saw Olivier Kemen play the full 90 minutes as he Captained the side once again, the Newcastle midfielder going close a couple of times to breaking the deadlock. Cruelly though, with only two minutes to go Spain scored the opening goal and then as France chased an equaliser, they added a second deep into injury time.

Despite exiting the tournament five days ago, it appears that Olivier Kemen wasn’t flown out to America to join the rest of the Newcastle squad and so celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday in Europe.

The midfielder was desperate to go out on loan last season and get experience at a higher level than reserve standard.

It was hoped that Newcastle would recruit enough decent players this summer, to ensure that the likes of Kemen and Adam Armstrong could go out for extensive loan periods.

Only then would it be possible to start to assess whether Kemen has any chance of making the step up eventually to Premier League level.

Whether he instead ends up in Italy on a permanent deal now remains to be seen.

  • Prateek Thammineni

    Surly we aren’t stupid enough to sell him. Are we?

  • Washy mag

    I honestly don’t understand this news if it’s got any bones to it. I’m not going to be one of those people who lie and say I’ve watched him a couple of times cos I haven’t ever seen him play but to captain the French u21 side he can’t be bad. So why let him go when he could be a little gem?

  • Blackandwhiteblood

    He would be better off where he is, as he was knocking on the 1st team door last season, but if he leaves we only have previous management to blame. He should’ve been out on loan at the start of last season, but such a small squad meant he had to stay for emergency cover. Fortunately Macca has a better relationship with good young players so hopefully we won’t allow players like Kemen to get frustrated and want to move on. It would be a shame to lose him because he’s come on in leaps and bounds since joining us aged 16. Maybe Macca can talk him round, but with the size of lclubs showing interest – Liverpool, City and Milan, he ‘s got his work cut out.

  • Alsteads

    Need to keep the kid. He stands out above the rest. End of!

  • amacdee

    How does this club justify paying and playing players like Squidward, Willo and Goof yet Kemen and other youngsters are ignored ? The future of this club should revolve around properly trained young players who have an affiliation with both the team and the City.

  • GlazedGaming

    It would be sickening to see another ManU/Pogba situation going on with this guy and in the brief glimpses I have caught of him he looks very promising.

  • Stephen McMenzie

    I know he is still young but every time I have seen him play he has looked absolutely crap.

  • DownUnderMag

    amacdee it seems to me that there is a certain element of “playing it safe”, managers scared to play the unknown factor, which when the known factor is proven to not be good enough you have to wonder about that logic, but hey…

  • DownUnderMag

    This has got another case of Pogba situation written all over it.  Just seems there is “too much at stake” to risk a bad game by playing youngsters these days in the Premiership – too easy to splash the cash on ready made players than bring through your own. Sadly we aren’t in a position to pay for the players we need so we NEED to produce our own and develop youth.  What is the point of having a youth academy if we refuse to play any youngsters, give them one game in a written off cup game and then jettison them as not good enough based on that??
    Hopefully McClaren and the new staff will be better at bringing the best out of these young prospects and actually show the bottle to give them a game.

  • Munich Mag

    i have watched the lad a couple of times on tv for the french u19s. im at a loss as to how he captains the team because the games i have seen he looked by far the poorest of a good bunch of french youngsters.

  • Munich Mag

    its probably more a case of can we keep a hold of him ?
    he can see that he is at least 2 years away from breaking into the first team squad, and reckons himself he is good enough….although he isn’t…..yet….