Newcastle United new signing ‘fit and in contention’ to face Liverpool

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Lewis Hall become Newcastle United’s fifth signing of the summer when joining from Chelsea earlier this week.

Eddie Howe says Newcastle United’s new signing Lewis Hall ‘caught his eye immediately’ during his Premier League debut last season.

The 18-year-old left-back’s first league start came at St James’ Park in November last year when Joe Willock’s 67th-minute strike claimed a 1-0 win for the Magpies.

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Hall, a boyhood Newcastle fan, also featured in the reverse fixture between the two clubs at Stamford Bridge in May, where the England youth international was voted player of the match.

Newcastle United new signing Lewis Hall. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Newcastle United new signing Lewis Hall. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Newcastle United new signing Lewis Hall. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

United enquired about Hall earlier this summer but Chelsea refused to entertain it. However, after splashing a British record £115million to sign Moises Caicedeo from Brighton and Hove Albion, the West London club recognised the need to raise funds to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

Hall moves to Tyneside on a season-long loan, which includes an initial £28m obligation to buy next summer - and Howe was delighted to get his man.

“He played against us a couple of times last year and he impressed me for someone so young to come into those situations and perform the way he did,” the Magpies boss said. “Preparing for those games, we watched a lot of Chelsea and I think he had just broken in before our first game. He caught my eye immediately.

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“I really liked his attitude, how he played the game, his physical and technical attributes, so I think he’s going to be a really good signing for us.”

A major bonus for Howe is Hall’s capable of playing in several other positions, as highlighted during his Chelsea youth days.

“He has the attributes to play many different positions,” Howe added. “He’s only recently in his career converted to left-back. He’s probably a year training there and playing there but he’s also played as No.8, No.6, left wing, wing back, left back and even for England he’s played as a centre half in a back three and in a back four so real versatility.

“That was one of the attractions for going into this season where we’re going to need as many players as we can to play different positions.”

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Hall could make his debut against Liverpool at St James’ Park on Sunday (kick-off 4:30pm) but Howe warned the player will need to settle in.

“Yeah he’s fit and in contention. He’s obviously done minimal training,” said Howe. “Short term aim is to develop to us, and what I mean by that is mold his game around what we want him to do and that’ll take a period of time.

“Ideally with your signings, you try and get them in as early as you can during pre-season and I think we’ve seen the benefits of that with someone like Sandro Tonali, who’s come in and adjusted to our way quite quickly.

“Although there is a lot more to come that period has been very beneficial. Lewis will have to go through a similar period where he totally understands what we need him to do.”

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