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Newcastle focused on academy; Villa rule out ‘massive’ signing

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew plans to emphasise the development of homegrown players at St James' Park rather than bringing in foreign talent.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew plans to emphasise the development of homegrown players at St James’ Park rather than bringing in foreign talent, Sky Sports understands.

The Magpies first-team squad currently consists of 10 Frenchmen and just nine Englishmen, including Burundi-born defensive midfielder Gaël Bigirimana.

Because Newcastle cannot compete with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in the transfer market, Pardew is adjusting the club’s transfer policy, deciding to focus more on youth development.

Academy graduates Paul Dummett and Sammy Ameobi have impressed since breaking into the first-team this season.

Dummett, 22, was rewarded with a new long-term contract, which could keep him on Tyneside until 2019, earlier this month.

The 22-year-old defender, who has spent the past two seasons on loan at fifth-tier Gateshead and Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren respectively, has scored one goal in six appearances across all competitions for Newcastle this term.

Meanwhile, Sammy Ameobi — the younger brother of Nigeria international striker Shola Ameobi — has made two starts in the Capital One Cup and five substitute appearances in the English Premier League in 2013/14, tallying one goal and two assists.

The England Under-21 international seems to surpassed former Manchester United winger Gabriel Obertan in the pecking order at St James’ Park, with the latter being linked with a January move away from Tyneside.

“We’ve focused our academy on local players rather than searching the world for talent,” said Pardew.

“We are now focusing very much in our area. I think it is an important message for our fans. That’s the instruction from myself, Joe Kinnear and Mike Ashley. We want to maximise what’s in our area.

“The ratio of foreign players at Newcastle is getting tight. It’s important in our transfer policy that we bring in some English players.

“I’m very focused on the academy promoting talent from this area. I’ve said to all our scouts that I want to bring in players from here.

“We’re scouring locally. That’s something we need to do. We need more coaching hours with our players but, in terms of transfers to our first team, you’ve got to be good enough.”

Newcastle are scheduled to host Norwich City on Matchday 12 of the Premier League when play resumes on 23 October following the international break.

Villa rule out ‘massive’ signing

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has ruled out the possibility of landing a ‘massive’ signing in the January transfer window.

Like Pardew, Lambert plans to give his younger players more opportunities as the season progresses.

Villa, fresh off a 2-0 win over top-flight newboys Cardiff City on Saturday, are currently in 11th-place in the Premier League table, posting a 4-2-5 record through 11 games.

“That’s the game…it’s a challenge,” said Lambert. “Randy has been great and [chief executive] Paul Faulkner has been great but we won’t be able to do what you would call a massive signing.

“We won’t be able to go out and buy the big type of players. We have to look at the market, the young lads. We give them an opportunity and hopefully they take it.”

Sun 10 November, 2013
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