Champions League qualification could block low-key Newcastle United departures

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The Magpies qualification for the Champions League has left them with a decision over several of their young players.

Newcastle United could face a dilemma over whether to allow several young players to leave on loan during the upcoming season after the Magpies qualification for the Champions League reaped a reward for the club’s academy.

Summer signing Yankuba Minteh has already departed on a year-long loan to Eredivise champions Feyenoord just after joining the Magpies in a £6million deal from Danish club Odense. He was followed by left-back Matty Bondswell, who will spend the season with League Two club Newport County after a deal was agreed between the two clubs earlier this week.

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Several of United’s youngsters are attracting interest from clubs across the EFL and the top two tiers in Scotland as the summer transfer window continues - but the Magpies qualification for the Champions League has placed questions over whether temporary moves away from Tyneside will be authorised.

Newcastle United midfielder Joe White.Newcastle United midfielder Joe White.
Newcastle United midfielder Joe White.

The likes of Joe White, Lucas De Bolle, Dylan Stephenson and Jay Turner-Cooke all encountered contrasting fortunes when they secured loan moves last season and a number of young Magpies are believed to be keen to follow a similar path during the upcoming season.

However, clubs competing in the Champions League also gain entry into the UEFA Youth League, a competition for Under-19s sides from across Europe, and that will increase the workloads on the Magpies academy. This season’s UEFA Youth League will get underway on Tuesday 19th September as the Under-19s teams from the 32 Champions League clubs are joined by 32 clubs that were crowned as domestic champions at youth level last season.

The group stage draw for the competition - which was won by Dutch side AZ Alkmaar last season - will take place on Thursday 31st August in Monaco, the same day as United’s first-team discover their Champions League opponents. The Magpies youngsters will follow a similar path to their senior counterparts with match days taking place on the same dates.

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Former Newcastle United academy star Bobby Clark in action for Liverpool in their UEFA Youth League game against Napoli (photo Getty Images)Former Newcastle United academy star Bobby Clark in action for Liverpool in their UEFA Youth League game against Napoli (photo Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United academy star Bobby Clark in action for Liverpool in their UEFA Youth League game against Napoli (photo Getty Images) | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Competing in the Youth League will add to an already hectic schedule for the United academy players as they already compete in the Under-18s Premier League and FA Youth Cup, as well as providing support for the club’s Under-21s, who will compete in Premier League 2, the Premier League Cup, Papa John’s Trophy and Northumberland Senior Cup during the new season.

Given the added pressure the Youth League will place on an already hectic schedule, movement of youngsters between age groups - which has been commonplace in recent years - could well be limited throughout the season, meaning the more senior players at Under-21s level may have to remain on Tyneside, rather than gain first-team experience with loan moves elsewhere.

The Magpies are hoping to boost their academy ranks with several new faces during the summer transfer window, with Bohemians goalkeeper Reece Byrne officially joining the club earlier this month. Port Vale’s highly-rated winger Michael Mills and Oldham Athletic prospect Sam Alabi are also believed to have completed moves to Tyneside and there have been reports United are in talks with Wolverhampton Wanderers over a move for 16-year-old defender Leo Sahar.

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