Newcastle United has made official the signing of Australia international and 18-year-old Garang Kuol. The forward, who made his debut this past international break with the Socceroos, will join the Magpies in January 2023.
Kuol was originally born in Egypt but he moved to Australia with his family, joining his current club as recently as January 2021. Playing for Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners, Kuol has scored four goals in just 189 minutes of domestic-league action playing off the bench and as a substitute for his team.
The wunderkind also scored on his A-League senior bow in April 2022 in a 5-0 triumph over Wellington Phoenix before going on to score four goals in his first seven league appearances. All of that only aged 17.
It was mid-September when beIN SPORTS reported the initial interest of Newcastle United in the young forward and still-to-become-international Garang Kuol. Just two days ago, SkySports just confirmed the agreement between both parties with an official announcement the only thing left to see the light of the day.
Newcastle has reportedly beaten the likes of Borussia Dortmund to the signing of the hottest Aussie prospect on Earth.
Kuol, who turned 18 a few days ago, recently got called up by Australia’s head coach Graham Arnold for the international break in which the youngster finally debuted with the Socceroos’ senior squad facing New Zealand in back-to-back games.
In his international debut, Kuol played twenty minutes off the pine and he did enough to force a penalty that helped Australia solidify their lead over NZE after the kick was converted into the final 2-0 score.
The deal will see Kuol remain playing football in Australia until January. He has already completed his medical on Tyneside and signed his deal with the club in advance of the 2023 calendar year when he’ll join the organization on location.
It is expected for Kuol to be re-routed to another club in Europe as part of a loan deal until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
Garang Kuol already shared his first thoughts about the move to Tyneside.
“It’s unreal. As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they’ll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it’s amazing.
Kuol is determined to find a place in the Australia World Cup final squad before officially joining Newcastle next year.
“Now that I’ve signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here.”
This rather unique transfer-and-loan deal has to do with Kuol’s current international status when it comes to his UK work permit, which he doesn’t have qualifications for yet. With the World Cup taking place in November later this year, there is a chance Kuol gets called up for the tournament and thus clears all potential visa problems that he—and Newcastle by extension—would need to deal with otherwise.
Kuol’s current team in the Australian A-League “Central Coast Mariners will receive a fairly modest fee—the pre-existing buyout clause in his contract.” The report by beIN, though, adds that “the club will also receive some impressive add-ons and share of future transfer fees if Kuol’s career hits certain metrics in the years ahead.”
Earlier today, Garang Kuol became the youngest player called up to a senior Socceroos squad since Harry Kewell in April 1996.— Socceroos (@Socceroos) September 14, 2022
Fronting the media, he explained why he's not just involved to make up the numbers #GiveIt100 #GoSocceroos #AUSvNZL https://t.co/v7leRUnfdQ
Garang Kuol became the youngest player in an Aussie senior-team camp following his inclusion in the Socceroos’ 31-man squad for their last games over the past few days. So much so, that he also became the youngest player to be called up to the senior national team since Harry Kewell back in April 1996.
Kuol was also part of the A-League All-Star team that played against Barcelona last May—in a 3-2 defeat to the Spanish side—at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium. Speaking after that game, Barcelona’s manager Xavi hailed the Aussie youngster saying that “[Kuol] did very well, he created many chances, almost scored.”
Dan Ashworth, NUFC sporting director, labeled Kuol as “a very promising young talent,” saying that “we are excited that he’ll be continuing his development as a Newcastle United player.”
Speaking about the strategy of the club after the takeover nearly a year ago, Ashworth made it clear that “[Newcastle] philosophy is to invest in the Academy and in exciting young players for the future, as well as in players required to make an immediate impact in the first team.”