‘Fantastic talent’ - Newcastle United and Liverpool linked with highly-rated Championship prospect
The Magpies have been linked with another exciting talent as they look to strenghthen their youth ranks.
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The 16-year-old striker has captured the attention of some of English football’s biggest clubs after he plundered his way to five goals in North End’s 6-1 FA Youth Cup win against Rotherham United earlier this month. The Argentine youngster was far from a regular in the Championship club’s Under-19s setup, but he grabbed his chance to shine by completing a first-half hat-trick with a stunning long-range effort.
Rodriguez-Gentile went on to score a second-half brace to add to his tally and expressed his surprise at his performance during the tie in an interview with the club’s official website.
He said: “I thought maybe I would come on for the last ten minutes, maybe I’ll assist. I thought I was not even going to come in, but then I got a call this morning saying I was going to start and my head was spinning, but I just played my best and did that, so I’m very happy. It’s very good, especially after this game because it’s the biggest game I’ve ever played so, to perform like that, I feel very proud of myself.”
Speaking about the youngster’s display in the Youth Cup win and his possible involvement in training with his senior players, North End first-team manager Ryan Lowe said: "People probably want to get him in the squad; he will come up and train with us in some capacity very soon - when he's off school! It's mad, isn't it? But he is a fantastic talent and one we have to keep tabs on, which we are, of course. We get reports on all of the kids when they're performing. Again, we can't get too carried away with him and we've got to play him down a bit, but he looks like an exciting prospect for us.”
However, the Mirror have now reported Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are all monitoring Rodriguez-Gentile’s progress following his cup heroics, despite the fact the youngster has already pre-agreed two-year scholarship with the Championship club.