Surprise double-deal confirms ex-NUFC duo have signed for club in 8th tier of English football

Some news I wasn’t expecting to read today, with former Newcastle strikers Nile Ranger and Lomana LuaLua both signing for Spalding United – a team in the eighth tier of English Football!

The BBC reported that Ranger had ended his two-year spell out of the game with a move to AC United last week, however it’s emerged that he was only training with the Sunday League side.

Instead, he’s signed with Spalding United, who’ve announced that fellow Mag Lomama LuaLua has also been appointed as their new ‘attacking coach’.

Ranger’s career has been on a downward trajectory ever since he left NUFC in 2013, with him most recently playing for Southend United in League One. Unfortunately, he was released in 2018 as a result of disciplinary issues.

His signing for Spalding United acts an an opportunity for him to get back into the game – but it’s certainly not the standard he would have been expecting to be playing at in this stage of his career.

Surprisingly, he’s still on 29 years old. As for LuaLua, he will join the backroom staff at Spalding as an attacking coach, working under his fellow countryman and ex-professional footballer Gabriel Zakuani – who has recently become their new manager.

Here’s what new boss Gabriel Zakuani has had to say about Ranger’s arrival:

“I’ve known Nile for many years and we grew up in the same area. He has all the talent in the world and knows he has a point to prove!

“In the conversations we have had, he wants an opportunity to get himself back on the map.”

“I believe he can easily play for any team in league one and most championship clubs.

“He has promised me he will get his head down and prove to everyone that the penny has dropped.

“This opportunity will allow people to see he still has the hunger to succeed”

I have to say that it’s quite sad to see Ranger lining up for an eight tier side. It just goes to show how talent only gets you so far in the professional game!

From Newcastle United in the Premier League to Spalding United in the Northern Premier League.

Quite the fall from grace, but good luck to them both – especially LuaLua, who’ll have his hands full with Ranger if he doesn’t clean up his act!

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