‘X-Factor’ star tipped to shine at the World Cup ahead of Newcastle United transfer move

The youngster will officially join Newcastle in January - but has been linked with a loan move away from St James Park.

Former Aston Villa and Manchester United star Dwight Yorke believes new signing Garang Kuol will bring ‘the X-Factor’ to Newcastle United.

The Magpies saw off competition from a number of clubs around Europe to secure the signing of the 18-year-old from Australian A-League club Central Coast Mariners. The Egyptian-born forward had burst on to the scene earlier this year and was a surprise selection in an A-League All-Stars side that met La Liga giants Barcelona during the summer.

Kuol shone during the game and earned praise from Barca manager Xavi after going close to a stunning individual goal after appearing as a substitute. His display led to links with Barcelona and several other clubs around Europe - but Kuol will move to Newcastle in January after the Magpies moved quickly to complete a deal in late-September.

Former Premier League and Champions League winner Yorke was in charge of the All-Stars side against Barcelona and he has reflected on what he witnessed from the Magpies new-boy.

He told World Wide of Sports: “Well I first came across him (Garang Kuol) in the (A-League) all-star game against Barcelona. I thought a little bit unusual, you know, type of player that you looked at. He didn’t seem to fill out, like he’s bulked up in that period of time.

“But in terms of his football intelligence, I thought wow! He was obviously sensational when he came off the bench in that game. I actually seen him close up (now), his rise is one that I have noted and he has been tremendous to that point. Yesterday was just another….another moment, where you think – yes this guy has certainly got the X-Factor. He has done it consistently, certainly since that move to Newcastle.”

Kuol has netted six goals and provided three assists during his first 14 appearances for Central Coast Mariners and made his first appearance for Australia in a friendly with New Zealand in September. His progress has now been rewarded with a place in the Socceroos’ World Cup Finals squad and Yorke believes the youngster can ‘be a surprise’ at the tournament.

“He seems to get stronger and fitter and he is one to watch out (for). He is one that will be a surprise certainly (at the World Cup), not sure how (Australia Head Coach) Graham Arnold will use him in his squad, but he is magical, he has got that X factor. And certainly yesterday, we found out in no uncertain terms, that he is a special talent.”