Newcastle: Keith Downie drops exciting academy update at St James' Park

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe waving at the crowd

Newcastle United have moved to make improvements to their academy system this summer ahead as the club look to the future, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

Eddie Howe has overseen a cautious summer from the Magpies but with weeks remaining until the September 1 deadline, there is still plenty of time to strengthen further.

What has Newcastle’s summer looked like?

Many will have expected the North East giants to be in free-spending mode in the first summer transfer window since they were taken over by their Saudi Arabia-backed owners.

Only three new faces have arrived at St James’ Park so far in the form of Nick Pope, Sven Botman and the permanent signing of Matt Targett.

The prospect of a big-money signing is growing, however.

Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison has been approached with two bids rejected for his services so far, including a £50 million offer.

An attacker, therefore, seems to be high on the agenda but whether they can get a deal over the line remains to be seen.

It is not just the first team that the club are looking to strengthen this summer, however, with the Newcastle academy the subject of improvements.

What has Downie said on Newcastle’s plans?

Downie understands that targeting talented youngsters who can graduate to Howe’s first-team in the future is part of plans put in place at St James’ Park.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I know for a fact Newcastle are trying to improve the academy and trying to bring players in who are kind of halfway into the first team. So they are doing that with a handful of guys already this summer, to come in and play for youth teams, with a view to moving up guys who are highly rated.”

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Why are Newcastle doing this?

It may appear to be a strange thing to do, especially when such rich owners have just bought the club, but there is likely logic to the plan.

The transfer window is becoming an increasingly unpredictable entity, often making deals tougher to complete with the space of a few months, so having a pool of talent at your disposal adds that extra layer of depth.

It is also possible that they have looked to Chelsea for inspiration. The Blues have seen plenty of top talents come through their Cobham academy. Often, however, they do not actually utilise them in the first team.

Instead, they are sold on for significant fees. Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi were shipped out last summer for a combined £79 million.

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