Dan Ashworth has hinted at more Garang Kuol-type signings as Newcastle United look to recruit from all parts of the world. The Magpies agreed to sign the highly-rated teenager in September before he officially joins from Central Coast Mariners in January.
However, rather than go straight into Eddie Howe’s first team, the 18-year-old is set to be loaned to a European club in order to gain the relevant number of GBE points. Kuol does not automatically qualify for a UK work permit, although his success with Australia at the World Cup will strengthen his case.
Indeed, this is scenario is nothing out of the ordinary for sporting director Ashworth. During his time at Brighton and Hove Albion, the Seagulls recruited the likes of Moises Caicedo, Jakub Moder, Kaoru Mitoma and Alexis Mac Allister under a similar proviso.
Brexit is partially to blame but Ashworth won’t let deter Newcastle. Kuol is an example to follow, with the forward labelled as one of Australia’s brightest young prospects after breaking onto the A-League and international scene.
Ashworth told NewcastleWorld: “We’re a world league, the whole world is open to us now in order to recruit and Brexit has changed the dynamics of who you can recruit and how but ultimately now, signing a player from Belgium or Brazil is the same criteria, whereas previously in the EU, it was different.
“Players coming into the here and now for Eddie, he would absolutely have full sight of them to make sure he is comfortable with them coming straight into his first team but you can’t expect him to be able to sign every player we ever sign across the football club. Where does it stop, the under-9s?!
“Consequently, we have to look at different ways to bring talent into the club through different routes. One of them is maybe they go straight out on loan.
“The work criteria in order to get GBE points in order to come in is fairly complex and therefore coming out of certain leagues that might be band four, five or six, maybe that player needs a loan experience before they can get the right points to work in the Premier League.
“With my previous club, there are some players who have benefited from that where they have been acquired, had a loan experience and then come successfully into the Premier League.”
Ahead of January, the Magpies have been linked with a number of South American-based players, including Velez Sarsfield midfielder Maximo Perrone. Vasco da Gama’s Andrey Santos and Santos FC’s 17-year-old forward Angelo Gabriel.