One of Newcastle’s many foibles over the past few decades has been their seeming inability to keep the best local talent in the north east, particularly youngsters involved with North Tyneside youth outfit Wallsend Boys Club.
Missing out on Alan Shearer as a 16-year-old was an horrendous error practically admitted a decade later, when Kevin Keegan paid Blackburn £15m for the uber-prolific frontman, but letting fellow former Wallsend alumni Michael Carrick leave the area for West Ham in 1997 looks almost as bad in hindsight.
Fraser Forster’s move to Celtic in 2012 was somewhat more forgivable, considering current number one goalkeeper Tim Krul is the same age as the England stopper, but even the likes of Ben Pringle slipping through the net seems careless, considering the Rotherham midfielder could fetch over £4m in the transfer market this summer.
The Geordies are hoping to make up for these misses, according to reports in the Daily Mail and the Newcastle Chronicle, by snapping up another former Wallsend old boy in 16-year-old Callum Douglas, who has been breaking records left, right and centre for La Liga minnows Elche’s youth team.
Nearby Valencia are thought to be keen on the 6ft3in striker, but Newcastle clearly hold the edge due to his regional allegiances and will welcome the lifelong Magpies fan to St James’ Park for a trial over the summer.
Douglas turned out at centre-half for junior sides L’Alfas del Pi and La Nucia after moving to Spain with his family, but was converted into a striker prior to being signed on youth terms by Elche.
The aforementioned papers claim Douglas scored a whopping 45 goals for Los Franjiverdes’ youngsters in 2014/15, and believe Sunderland are also tracking his progress, but if he ends up at the Stadium of Light Newcastle might as well pack up and go home.
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