A tantalising update has emerged on Newcastle’s search for a new director of football…
Italian journalist Rudy Galetti has claimed that former Chelsea chief Michael Emenalo is on the verge of becoming the Magpies’ director of football to work with Eddie Howe at St. James’ Park. The reporter has stated that he could be in the door before this weekend’s clash with Brentford in the Premier League.
He Tweeted: “Last details definition between Michael Emenalo and Newcastle. There is an excellent chance that #NUFC will formalize the new director of football already within the next match against #Brentford.”
This update from Galetti will surely get Newcastle fans excited as it suggests that the club are close to bringing in a sporting director to assist Howe moving forward.
It means that PIF are appointing a worker with key footballing experience to make the tough decisions and calls that need to be made to help the club progress, rather than believing that they can do it themselves without the requisite knowledge. After all, that was something that cleared proved detrimental in their hopes to bring Unai Emery to St James’ Park.
Emenalo enjoyed a respectable playing career as a left-back, earning 14 caps for Nigeria, but has been far more successful behind the scenes with roles at Chelsea and AS Monaco. Whilst at Stamford Bridge, he helped the club win three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League as the technical director, showing that he knows what it takes to build a side capable of winning major silverware.
The Telegraph reported that he was behind the influx of Belgian talent at Chelsea, signing the likes of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Kevin de Bruyne. Back in 2019, he also stood by Chelsea’s academy and put an end to plans to scrap it in order to use the money elsewhere. He told The Telegraph:
“I defended the academy when there was pressure and doubt and pessimism.
“There was a time when there was a clamour to do more and a manager came in to make a presentation to say the academy was not necessary. The argument was that it takes too long, we don’t have time, we should use it to make some money here and there, and that the owner should stop pumping money into it because it seemed like a waste.”
Without his intervention, the Premier League giants may not have ended up developing Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James, among others, and this shows the qualities Emenalo could bring to Newcastle.
He could provide an emphasis on youth development along with a keen eye for talent and that could help the club moving forwards in terms of recruitment. Therefore, fans will be delighted, and excited, to read that the retired Nigerian is closing in on a deal to oversee matters on Tyneside.