Newcastle are set to hand a trial to 18-year-old Club Brugge midfielder/striker Jordan Botaka if reports in Belgium prove to be correct.
The Belgian outfit have rejected Newcastle’s advances although with the player currently not signed to any professional contract he could technically take up the offer of a trial should he choose to although the likelihood is that compensation will then be sought by by Brugge.
Botaka is a current Dutch youth international and has featured sporadically for the first team at Club Brugge. He is a another player who is “highly-rated” within the confines of his current club so I’m presuming Brugge will want to tie him down. Lille and QPR are also said to be interested in the player.
A little tip, turn the sound off when watching this!
Meanwhile news that Jason Prior will now be coming to Newcastle to take part in a trial has also been confirmed. Prior has scored a rather incredible 95 goals in 118 games for his current side although it’s fair to say that Bognor Regis are a fair few miles apart both in terms of distance and level of competition.
I’ve read some people rubbishing the move, but I’ve also read a lot of people praising the move and doffing their cap to Newcastle for giving the lad a chance. Yes it’s probably a fairytale and probably won’t work out but at the end of the day he has a chance to show he can mix it with much better players now and it’s up to him to take it.
It doesn’t happen often, but there are some players who don’t get picked up in their youth. Chris Smalling was playing for Maidstone a couple of seasons ago and is now a full England international with Manchester United. Ian Wright was spotted by Crystal Palace while playing for Dulwich Hamlet and never signed a professional contract until he was 22. Our very own Sir Les Ferdinand was picked up by QPR from Hayes. You get the point.
The reality is that Newcastle give trials to an awful lot of players each season, as do a lot of clubs. Some make it and earn an extended stay and some even make it to the first team in the future, but a lot of them don’t and will just disappear into relative obscurity once again.
They have a chance, it’s up to them to take it!