Newcastle United call-up 19-year-old to first-team training as low-key signing spotted

Newcastle United are preparing to host Luton Town in the Premier League this weekend.
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Eddie Howe's Newcastle United squad have returned to the training pitch this week with a spring in their step following Tuesday's 3-1 win at Champions League chasing Aston Villa.

In the latest training gallery released by United's media team, it was smiles all round from the likes of Anthony Gordon, Bruno Guimaraes, Jacob Murphy, Fabian Schar, Tino Livramento and even Howe, who has been suffering from illness this week but is expected to be on the touchline for Saturday's Premier League match at home to Luton Town.

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A handful of youngsters were again called up to first-team training this week after nine senior players missed the visit to Villa Park. Speaking to the media on Friday, assistant boss Jason Tindall revealed Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock are close to making a return but neither of the quartet were spotted training on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Max Thompson has returned to Newcastle United at the end of his loan spell with the Cobblers (Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images)Goalkeeper Max Thompson has returned to Newcastle United at the end of his loan spell with the Cobblers (Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Goalkeeper Max Thompson has returned to Newcastle United at the end of his loan spell with the Cobblers (Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images)

That meant Ben Parkinson and Amadou Diallo were called up, while summer signing Travis Hernes' first-team involvement continues after being named on the bench for the trip to Fulham and Villa. Hernes joined from League One side Shrewsbury Town in the summer.

Also spotted was 19-year-old goalkeeper Max Thompson having recently returned from his half-season loan spell at Northampton Town, where he made 20 appearances. The Cobblers were keen to extend his stay but boss Jon Brady said he was returning to Newcastle to be "around their first-team squad". With Nick Pope sidelined until April, Thompson bolsters United's goalkeeper numbers in training alongside stand-in No.1 Martin Dubravka, Loris Karius and Mark Gillespie.

"Max has really progressed well in his time here," said Brady. "Once again, it shows how we as a club can help develop young players and he returns to Newcastle a better player for his time here. Max was good for us and we were good for him and such was his progress, Newcastle want to have him around their first team squad."

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Reflecting on his loan spell at Sixfields, Thompson told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo last month: “I knew I was coming in as number two and I was hoping I could play a few games and see what happens but unfortunately Lee has been injured a couple of times and that’s meant I’ve played quite a lot.

“I’m learning plenty and I feel so much of my game has improved while I’ve been here. I think most of it is about game management at this level and understanding when to do things and when not to do things. 

"It’s very different playing at this level, especially the physicality, and it is a big step up from playing academy level but I feel like I’ve done well in the circumstances and my game is improving.”