Greetings, sports fans, and welcome to another installment of the Links. Thursday brings many things, including an increase of football related stories as we're truly on the downhill to the weekend's match. Predictably, Lee Ryder has come through trumps from the media day at the Newcastle Academy with a couple of top-notch pieces about current players in the system...Nicklas Bendtner visits Buenos Aires, and more on the House of Commons!
The Belgian defender is all but certain to quit the Dutch Eredivisie club following a poor season for the iconic former Champions League winners, with Ajax off the pace in the Dutch top flight when it comes to European slots. Vertonghen is certain to be inundated with offers at the end of the season, but Newcastle could offer him the chance to be one of the true leaders of their side rather than the role of squad player elsewhere.
This link is not going away... and would be awesome, don't get me wrong. It's hard to think that we're serious players in this versus Sky6 sides, but it would be a hell of a statement of intent. The guy is only 24. . .
Newcastle United are continuing their French recruitment policy with the signing of 22-year old midfielder Romain Amalfitano, according to today’s reports in the French press. The Magpies are said to be close to securing the pre-contract agreement for the player who currently plys his trade for Stade De Reim, a Ligue 2 side. His contract is up in the summer and is able to sign for any club he wants on a free transfer, transfering on the day his current deal expires just as Mehdi Abeid did in his switch last year.
I don't find any other reference to this agreement (particularly in British press), but this story cites L'Equipe... if anyone speaks/reads French and wants to chase this one down, that would be cool. But the name is out there.
Newcastle United Academy!
I’d want to stay here and go nowhere else. It’s great here to play for my home town club. It’s a dream for me. "To see all of the players that have come through the ranks makes you want to do the same. "I could have gone to other clubs when I was younger but there was only one I wanted to go to when I knew Newcastle were interested."
I looov reading quotes like this... looov it. Then I remember that Shola was in the same boat and has stayed.
I’m a creative technical player, I like to give other players chances." Colombia kid Lopez will take inspiration from youth product graduates such as Shane Ferguson, Haris Vuckic and James Tavernier and added: "When you are at the Academy you are thinking that hopefully one day you can be out there. "It gives you more of a buzz. It’s great watching the first team as you know you could be there one day.
This kid is 16 and a long way off on the horizon... but if he pans out and really is what he describes himself as, I think I would wet myself if he ended up in the First Team. A pure creative midfielder that runs in an advanced mid position and plays pure quarterback is a special joy for me.
To Loan or Not To Loan
DONCASTER Rovers are reportedly ready to swoop for Newcastle United midfielder Mehdi Abeid - but could face competition from Leeds United for his signature. Algerian Under-23 international Abeid has been granted permission to leave the Magpies on loan and Doncaster are said to be in pole position to land him, according to reports in the North East.
I think this is the right move for Mehdi and for our future. Haris Vuckic is excelling so far on his loan assignment, and it certainly makes the summer a different proposition if both Haris and Mehdi are viable every-game options whether on the pitch or the bench.
Pardew could yet loan out him for first-team experience, as he has done with Haris Vuckic, and intends to do with Mehdi Abeid. However, Ferguson isn’t thinking about a loan, and is instead focused on following up his appearance at White Hart Lane will more games for the club, ahead of Saturday’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers. "It depends with injuries, but at the minute I think I’m staying at Newcastle," Ferguson told the Gazette. "I’ll just have to keep working hard in training, and trying to push my way in. Hopefully, I’ll get a couple more appearances under my belt."
I confess, I'm a bit of a Gabriel Obertan apologist. Even I can stand back, however, and say that it may be time to give Ferguson a real look in the side. I don't fall in the group that are ready to ship Gaby out... I think perhaps the club would benefit to hold him on at least until January to see if he settles in any better. I don't think that there is much to lose to give Shane his shot with Gaby on the bench.
Mr Mearns said: "To see the signs calling St James’ Park St James’ Park being crowbarred from the walls of the ground left a stain on my heart, certainly as a Newcastle United fan, and has stirred emotions amongst colleagues as well." His Early Day Motion – which has won support from other local MPs – condemns what it calls "corporate vandalism" and highlights opposition to the rebranding exercise. It notes how Newcastle City Council has passed a motion refusing to recognise the new name and decided not to change any signs bearing the name St James’ Park. The motion also praises what it says is the Chronicle's "now famous" front page declaring "St James' Park and Always Will Be".
Granted that part of a politician's job is to create memorable quotes, I have to think that "To see the signs calling St. James' Park St James' Park being crowbarred from the walls of the ground left a stain on my heart" is going to be one that lives for quite a long time unless Mike Ashley eventually gives up on this one.
FOOTBALL shirts lovingly collected by Toon star Jonas Gutierrez throughout his career have been stolen in a raid on his mother’s home in Argentina. The Newcastle United winger has told of his anger after hearing that his treasured strips were taken in the break-in, during which the apartment was trashed. His mum, Monica, said her son was devastated at the loss of the tops, which hold huge sentimental value and represent proud memories from his playing career.
Reports that Nicklas Bendtner was in Buenos Aires recently are being independently verified.