On March 19th last year, Newcastle United announced the signing of highly-rated defender Matthew Bondswell.
The full-back arrived on a free transfer after being released by RB Leipzig, yet came with a solid reputation after turning own contract offers from Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea prior to his move to Germany.
Bondswell has represented England at every level between U15 to U18 and was part of the U17 squad that won the Syrenka Cup; alongside the likes of Jude Bellingham, Harvey Elliott and Jamal Musiala.
He’s gone under the radar during his first 12 months on Tyneside, but the former Nottingham Forest talent has had a few highlights – featuring in a few pre-season friendlies with the senior side and being invited to train with the first team by Eddie Howe.
After returning from a spell in League One, the 19-year-old started for the U23s in their Monday night trip to Stoke City and was the pick of the bunch in black and white.
Speaking exclusively to NUFC Blog, an EFL scout had the following to say about his impressive display after attending the game at Stoke’s Bet365 stadium:
“He was your best player.
“Showed energy, got forward, his distribution was good and he was strong in the tackle.
“One thing to work on…he was VERY left footed.
“But he looked very quick and, for me, was your man of the match.”
So, a standout display from the former England youth international and a name that could be worth watching out for ahead of pre-season.