Newcastle United just announced the signing of West Ham Academy defender Harrison Ashby with the Magpies. As we reported on Monday, the deal is reportedly quoted at an initial £3M with the chance of having some add-ons and bonuses attached to it.
The links between Newcastle and Ashby go back to last summer when the Tyneside organization already attempted a deadline-day signing only to get denied by West Ham. This winter, and again on deadline day, West Ham have relented and allowed Newcastle to put on a reasonable bid the Hammers ultimately deemed enough to release Ashby from their club.
Ashby arrived in Newcastle on Monday to undergo medical tests. After successfully clearing them, he signed his deal, and his signing was officially announced on Tuesday morning ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final matchup against Southampton, scheduled for kick-off at 20:00 CET later today.
With the arrival of Ashby from West Ham, Eddie Howe successfully closes the search for a competent right-back who can fill in to relieve captain Kieran Trippier for his never-ending streak of played matches.
Born in Milton Keyes, Ashby has represented Scotland at a U21 level already while also appearing in seven first-team games with West Ham across both Premier League and European cup play.
Ashby spoke to NUFCTV on Monday, saying that he “can’t be happier” and that he “can’t get the smile off my face,” revealing that “it’s a proud day for me and my family.”
The young defender is “buzzing to come to the game tonight, to meet the fans and to get a taste of the atmosphere,” with the Magpies taking on Southampton fighting for a place in the Carabao Cup final. If this is not the most important game Newcastle have played this century, then it must be close to it.
With the match taking place at St James’ Park, Ashby couldn’t have picked a better night to enjoy the show. He had kind words for his former club, too, saying that he “wouldn’t be here today without West Ham,” later thanking “the coaches that I had from growing up to now.”
“I’m delighted to be here,” finished Ashby.
Howe also offered some words to the cameras of NUFCTV, labeling Ashby as “a very talented young player with a lot of potential,” adding that he and the rest of the staffers are ”delighted to sign him.”
“He has very good attributes, so we are looking forward to working with him in this exciting new chapter of his career,” Howe said.
Welcome home, Harrison!