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Newcastle: Eddie Howe could strike gold with Charlie McArthur

Newcastle United’s sporting director Dan Ashworth made a number of moves during the summer transfer window in an attempt to improve Eddie Howe’s team.

Alexander Isak, Matt Targett, Nick Pope, and Sven Botman all came through the door on permanent deals with a view to giving the club a better chance of climbing the Premier League table.

However, the Magpies chief also dipped into the market to develop the academy side at St. James’ Park, bringing in fresh young talent to the U23 and U18 squads.

This provides Howe with a wealth of talent at his disposal to call upon in the years to come, with the rise of Elliot Anderson into the first-team fold this season being proof of his willingness to give youngsters a chance.

One player he snapped up was Scottish central defender Charlie McArthur who joined from Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock for a fee of just £350k on a three-year deal.

Tommy Wright, who was his first-team manager in Scotland, previously heaped praise on the youngster, saying: “The biggest compliment I can pay Charlie is that the lads treat him like a 26-year-old.

“Since I’ve been in here, he’s trained all pre-season with us, we looked at him last season and he’s a dream to work with. I don’t want to stick labels on how good he is but he’s very, very good and will have a great career.”

Journalist Mike McGrath described him as a “huge prospect” at the time and this, along with Wright’s comments, suggests that the centre-back is seen as a player with the potential to make an impact at senior level in the future.

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Despite only turning 17 in May of this year, McArthur played four first-team matches for Kilmarnock – including once in the league – prior to arriving in England. He was deemed good enough for competitive, senior action at such a young age and this indicates that he has a strong mentality as the coaching staff believed that he could handle it.

The gem has also been capped ten times by Scotland at U17 level and is the captain for his country at that age group, which shows how highly rated he is on the international scene and that he has leadership qualities.

It is now down to the centre-back to prove to Howe that he has the maturity and quality to step up to the Premier League in the future, whether that comes this season, next term, or in a campaign further down the line.

If he can do that, as the hype around him suggests that he has the potential to do so, then the Magpies boss could strike gold by unearthing his talent in the English top-flight – turning him into a first-team player worth far more than the £350k spent to sign him.