Eddie Howe names the Newcastle United transfer that ‘hasn’t gone as we’d have hoped’

The Newcastle United forward hasn’t played a competitive game since March.

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Newcastle United had hoped for more from Garang Kuol’s loan spell at Heart of Midlothian, head coach Eddie Howe admits.

The Magpies held off competition from a number of high-profile clubs to sign the 18-year-old from A-League side Central Coast Mariners in January.

His arrival, off the back of making two appearances for Australia at the Qatar World Cup, was viewed as a coup, and several Football League and European clubs immediately registered their loan interest.

Newcastle United forward Garang Kuol is on loan at Hearts. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)Newcastle United forward Garang Kuol is on loan at Hearts. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Newcastle United forward Garang Kuol is on loan at Hearts. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

However, it was Hearts who won the race for his signature after setting out an impressive presentation. The reality of the move, though, is tough on Kuol. He’s featured just eight times in total, only one of which was a start and not made it off the bench in nearly two months.

To make matters worse. The manager who signed him, Robbie Neilson, was sacked last month. Indeed, Kuol has been overlooked by interim boss Steven Naismith.

“I think, whenever you loan a player, you hope they play every game, for a striker, they scores loads of goals, they return in a brilliant mental place,” said Howe, who spoke ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.

“Part of going on loan is that you don’t know what’s going to happen. They have to earn everything they get. Sometimes, through a disappointing loan, you can actually respond and learn things about yourself which makes the loan really beneficial.

“So I’d never look at it as a huge negative. But, of course, the loan probably hasn’t gone as we’d have hoped.”

Naismith had his say in an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News last month. The former Everton and Rangers forward said: “From the conversations I’ve had with him, I’ve probably told him what he is thinking. Hopefully you gain respect from him because it’s: ‘Oh, he actually does know how I’m feeling.’ I get that. He did say he just wants to learn and, when we were texting back and forward, he said he enjoyed training.

“This is the value of his loan, that he is learning this. I told him he could be back at Newcastle in a reserve team, nowhere near the first team, feeling frustrated. Here, he is part of a first-team environment. You understand there is a demand there and you need to perform.

“He is learning and I think he is in a better place with how he feels. He still has the frustration of not playing, but he has attributes some of the other forwards don’t have which we might need.”

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