Newcastle United set to sign English full-back from Premier League club

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Newcastle United are close to adding a top talent to their academy.

Newcastle United are set to sign England under-16s international Leo Shahar from Premier League rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Since becoming the club’s sporting director last year, Dan Ashworth has implemented big changes to the academy - both on and off the pitch. Over the last six months, United have recruited a number of scouting and recruitment roles to be based across England as a way of improving academy productivity.

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Paul Midgley (Head of Head of Youth Recruitment) and Paul McLaren (Head of National Youth Scouting 13s to 18s) have joined from Manchester City, while Edward Black (Lead Academy Scout U9s to U14s), Delroy Ebanks (Academy Lead Scout for the South of England), Andy Basterfield (North West Regional scout) and Claire Burrows are among those to join from Arsenal, West Ham, Manchester United and Leicester City, respectively.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan AshworthNewcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth | Getty Images

Staff promoted from within are Paul Baker (Lead North Scout), Glenn Craggs (Head of Local Recruitment), Drew Beardsley (U5-U11 Recruitment Officer) and Michael Hutchinson (U9-U14 Assistant Local Professional Club Scout). Other employees are Dean Edwards (North West West Regional scout), Amos Mukiza (Midlands Regional Scout), Ross Thorpe: (Midlands Regional Scout), Abdul Habib (London/ South East Regional Scout), Dan Risk (London/ South Regional Scout) and Andy Gill (South West Regional Scout).

Significant investment has also gone into recruiting young players. Alex Murphy and Charlie McArthur were among those to join Newcastle last year from Galway United and Kilmarnock, respectively, while Garang Kuol and most recently Yankuba Minteh have arrived before being immediately loaned out.

This summer, it’s already been reported that the Magpies have completed deals to sign two promising players Michael Mills (Port Vale) and Sam Alabi (Oldham Athletic). The pair will go into the under-15 and 16s squad.

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And next through the door is set to be 16-year-old right-back Shahar, according to the Daily Mail.

Shahar is highly-rated by the Molineux club having featured regularly at under-18s last season, scoring twice in 15 league appearances.\

“Every time I watch [Sahar] playing for England he looks comfortable within the environment,” said Wolves head of player development Darren Ryan.

“We know how good he is technically and yes there are things he needs to improve on, but the more camps he’s on and the more call-ups he’s getting, the more comfortable he’s looking.

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“His performances are really consistent with the under-18s and he’s getting opportunities now to train with the 21s on the school release days. It’s great to go and see him in that environment with some of the best players in the country.

“He’s been picked on a lot of recent camps because he’s very consistent. He’s performing for us and that’s being seen by the staff and coaches.”

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