Rafa Benitez makes it 5 young signings from 5 different countries in turning around Newcastle youth set-up
Interesting to see the largely unseen work going on by Rafa Benitez to turn around the club at every level.
Naturally we are focused on first team results and performances but great to see incoming players underneath the first team.
Results and performances of the Academy and Reserve teams have been pretty depressing overall, in recent seasons.
A definite air of stagnation under Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve McClaren, with unseen people making the decisions on player recruitment.
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 the likes of Stuart Findlay and Yasin Ben El-Mhanni were brought in this summer to try and give an instant lift to the quality of the reserve team, at the younger level there has also been significant work done in recent months.
A bit of a mystery who Rafa Benitez really relies on with his scouting and recruitment, particularly at younger levels, but clearly the net is being spread far and wide – rather than France, France and France.
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, he is the son of former South African international Shaun Bartlett, who was at Charlton for six years.
Newcastle United have confirmed that striker Tyrique Bartlett has joined United’s Academy but the club are awaiting international clearance for him to play competitively – he did though put on an NUFC shirt for the first time yesterday (Thursday), as a friendly at Under 23 level was organised against Burnley, 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.
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