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Newcastle in Pursuit of French Youngsters

Samuel Umiti (right)

Having incessantly raided the French market for the majority of the first teamers, Newcastle United  are now looking to again hire from the Gallic market, only this time it is for two of the very bright youngsters; El - Hadji Ba and Samuel Umtiti.

Hadji Ba, 20 is a right footed defensive midfielder of Senegalese descent who currently plays for Ligue 2 team Le Havre based in the north western region of France. So far he has represented the club 13 times and scored 1 goal in the process. He has also represented France at youth levels having been a regular at French under U18, U19 and U20 levels.

Newcastle united are not the only side in for Hadji Ba, the news is that Sunderland and Wigan Athletic are both after him. It was widely reported that Hadji Ba had reportedly agreed to join Tottenham Hotspurs prior to making his Ligue 2 debut.

This is what Hadji Ba said about a prospective move across the channel;

“I want to improve, and it is very good to hear that clubs have been scouting me.”

“I would love to play in England one day. If teams have a good enough offer, then they (Le Havre) will let me go.”

Samuel Umtiti, 19 on the other hand is a center back, who can also play as a left back; he currently represents the French Giants Olympique Lyonnais based in east – central France. He has represented the club 34 times domestically and 6 times in Europe. He too has been a regular for France at youth level football and has a good goal scoring record for a Center back. Some of you may have seen the screamer he scored against Spurs at White Hart Lane in the 1st leg of Europa league’s round of 32 knock out clash.

The news around him is that Newcastle United sent their chief scout Graham Carr to watch him in action for French under – 20s against their Danish counterparts. Unless that is a smoke screen, he must be high on the list.

Newcastle recently released 4 of their best youngsters in JJ Hooper, Dennis Knight, Michael Riley and Marcus Maddison and may release few more come summer time so the there is plenty of space available for anyone entering through the door at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle over the last couple of years have also been trying to upgrade their academy and have been striving for category 1 which so far has not been fruitful. With the likes of   Hadji-Ba and Umtiti that claim may be strengthened and may even help Newcastle getting into NextGen Series, which a club of Newcastle’s stature thoroughly deserves.

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About Himanshu Dhingra (115 Articles)
I am a Newcastle United Fan and an Economist by Degree, Follow me on Twitter @HD_07. I love Indian Politics, Cricket, Formula 1, lawn Tennis

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