Speaking at the time of that capture, Magpies sporting director Dan Ashworth confirmed that the club’s “philosophy is to invest in our Academy and in exciting young players for the future”, with it looking as if PIF are concerned with more than just short-term success.
That trend of targetting up-and-coming prospects looks set to continue if recent reports are to be believed, with GOAL reporting that Athletico Paranaense sensation, Vitor Roque, is also a player of interest to those at St James’ Park.
The report suggests that the Tynesiders – as well as the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea – have all made enquiries regarding a move for the 17-year-old wonderkid, with Europe’s elite clubs seemingly intent on snapping up the forward this summer.
The teenage Brazilian will likely not come cheap, however, with the piece also outlining that the exciting asset has a release clause of around €60m (£53m), with his existing deal set to run until 2027.
Despite the prospect of having to splash the cash to land the 5 foot 8 dynamo, such a move could well prove worth it for Eddie Howe’s side, with Roque having been dubbed “one of the most talented Brazilian players of his generation” by talent scout Jacek Kulig.
Also lauded as a player of “crazy potential” by Kulig, the former Cruzeiro ace has been in scintillating form in his homeland of late, having scored seven goals and provided three assists in just 36 games for his current side, after bagging six goals and one assist in just 16 games for his previous employers.
Although there may be doubts about signing a player who is still in the infancy of his senior career, Newcastle can well look to Arsenal‘s success with the signing of Gabriel Martinelli as a reason to be encouraged.
Like his young compatriot, Martinelli also started out life in Brazil with lower division side Ituano, before being snapped up by the Gunners on a £6m deal back in the summer of 2019, at the tender age of just 18.
Despite that move having been potentially something of a gamble due to the winger’s inexperience at first-team level, the fleet-footed speedster has gone on to dazzle since then, with 41 goal involvements in 108 games for the north Londoners to date.
The 21-year-old has been particularly impressive in this season’s title charge under Mikel Arteta, having scored seven goals and laid on two assists in 17 Premier League games, with such form ensuring that he is now valued at around £88m, as per CIES Football Observatory.
The league leaders have clearly struck gold with their bold move to bring the young Martinelli to the club, with Newcastle seemingly hoping to repeat that feat by snapping up another promising young forward in the form of Roque.