Back in August, Newcastle United announced the slightly surreal signing of Mexican talent Santiago Munoz.
The 19-year-old arrived on an initial 18-month loan deal that includes an option to buy, yet, almost three months later, he’s yet to actually kick a ball in a black and white shirt.
After Elliot Anderson scored a hat-trick in the U23s convincing win over Nottingham Forest last night, several fans on social media were asking the question – where on earth is Santiago Munoz?
Less than 24 hours on, The Chronicle’s Ciaran Kelly has explained that the young striker is ‘fine’ and recovering from a muscle injury.
It’s also been revealed that he spent a few weeks in quarantine prior to arriving on Tyneside (in September) and was also training away from Santos Laguna (his parent club) before the move was made official, so it seems he’s not only been given time to adjust to life in a new country but also playing catch up from a fitness perspective.
Here’s a snippet from The Chronicle’s latest piece:
Howe has yet to have the chance to see Santiago Munoz in action, but ChronicleLive understands the Mexican is ‘fine’ and is recovering from a muscle injury as he waits to make his debut for the club.
Santos Laguna did not want to lose Munoz last summer and instead hoped the youngster would stay for at least another year rather than join Newcastle on an initial 18-month loan deal.
However, the striker was ultimately sent to train away from the first team after manager Guillermo Almada felt his head had been turned.
Munoz, as a result, did not have the ideal preparation for the new season and the 19-year-old went on to spend two weeks in quarantine in Madrid before he finally arrived in Newcastle. By the time Munoz eventually touched down, in September, the new arrival was playing catch up.
The first couple of months of Munoz’s loan spell have at least given the youngster the chance to adjust to a new environment before he attempts to earn a permanent move in his final year at the club.
Munoz, who speaks fluent English, has already settled in on Tyneside and has struck up a friendship with a number of his team-mates, including Ryan Barrett and Jack Young.
So, the Mexican mystery has been explained, putting those who think this was one big PR stunt at ease.
Saying that, he’ll need to get fit and firing before too long if he’s to turn this initial loan move into a permanent one!