Garang Kuol is set to arrive at Newcastle United in the coming days after making his final appearance for Central Coast Mariners.
The teenage forward agreed to join the Magpies in September, though the transfer could not be officially ratified until the opening of the January window.
Kuol bid an emotional farewell to the A-League club on New Year’s Eve, where he received a standing ovation when substituted late on during a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory.
Next stop for Kuol is Tyneside, and it’s understood he will immediately hold sit-down talks to discuss his short-term future amid interest from a number of clubs across Europe.
The plan is to send the 18-year-old out on loan for the second half of the campaign but until a suitable club is found, there’s a possibility Kuol could train with Eddie Howe’s first team in the meantime.
“It’s a possibility,” Howe told NewcastleWorld. “I do think for the player’s development he probably needs to go and play if possible at a very good level at a good club and good coach.
“But again, that’s not a decision that’s been made currently so we’ll assess all options.”
Howe and his players are currently in London ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash with leaders Arsenal but will return to the North East to prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash away at Sheffield Wednesday.
That could present Kuol with an opportunity to train with his new teammates who face a busy month with Leicester City, Fulham and Crystal Palace also coming up.
Kuol enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2022 by scoring six times and providing four assists in 17 appearances for the Central Coast Mariners, as well as being called up to Australia’s World Cup squad, where he played against France and Argentina.
He arrives with a huge amount of potential, so Newcastle will be extra keen to ensure they get his first loan correct.