Newcastle United’s under the radar summer signing earns surprise first team call-up for Portugal

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There’s a new face in Eddie Howe’s squad for Newcastle United’s pre-season camp in Portugal.

Alex Murphy has been called up to Eddie Howe’s first-team squad for Newcastle United’s trip to Portugal.

The teenager defender, a summer signing from League of Ireland side Galway United, linked up with Elliott Dickman’s under-21s for their pre-season camp in Pinatar last week.

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Murphy played in the eye-catching 2-1 win against La Liga outfit Elche before scoring his first Magpies goal in a 3-1 victory against Blackburn Rovers under-21s on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old is expected to remain in United’s second string for the upcoming campaign, however has been handed an early opportunity to impress Howe after being included on the trip to Portugal.

In an Instagram video posted by Federico Fernandez, Murphy was spotted behind the Argentine on the plane.

Newcastle saw off strong competition, including Celtic, Brighton and Torino, to land the highly-rated Murphy.

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Murphy, who can operate in central defence or at right-back, joined Galway from Corrib Celtic aged 14 before his senior debut just two years later.

Before officially joining Newcastle earlier this month, Murphy has been a regular for John Caulfield’s Galway at left-back, missing just one of 32 matches.

Murphy has also captained the Republic of Ireland at under-18s level and was a standby for the under-21s squad late last year.

Newcastle United academy Steve Harper described Murphy’s capture as a “real coup”.

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He said: “He is a very promising young player who has attracted a lot of attention from clubs. It is a real coup for our academy and is a testament to the direction the club is going in under our owners.

“I would like to thank everyone involved with Galway United for their assistance. The club has been a pleasure to deal with and I wish John Caulfield and his players the very best of luck for the rest of the season.”

The Magpies face Burnley in a behind closed doors friendly today before taking on Benfica at the Estadio da Luz on Tuesday.

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