Newcastle United have announced the signing of Lewis Hall from Chelsea, with the England U19 starlet moving to St James’ Park on loan with the obligation to buy.
Hall had been close to joining Newcastle’s Premier League rivals Crystal Palace on loan from Chelsea, but the Magpies successfully hijacked that move. On Thursday, it emerged that Newcastle had reached an agreement with Chelsea for Hall’s transfer.
Upon the end of Hall’s season-long loan, Newcastle will pay Chelsea £28million for him to join them permanently. A further £7m will be available to Chelsea depending on add-ons.
Hall, who can operate as a left-back, left midfielder or central midfielder, will wear the number 20 shirt for the Magpies.
When announcing the signing, Newcastle revealed the 18-year-old to be a boyhood fan of the club. And in his first interview as a Newcastle player, Hall spoke about this.
“I’m very proud. Me and my family are Newcastle fans, and for me and my brother growing up, it was drilled into us that we were Newcastle. It’s a big club and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.
“I got a lot of experience last year in some big fixtures and I was really proud of the way I progressed as a player and a person. To now be here at Newcastle, the club that I’ve supported since I was a kid, I’m honoured and very proud to wear this shirt.
“It’s very exciting. When you look back on last season and the way the team performed – not just the results, but the performances the team were putting in – it was amazing.
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“There’s so many talented players and we’ve got the Champions League now as well so there’s many different competitions that I know the team will be wanting to do well in, and hopefully get a trophy or two as well.”
Manager Eddie Howe added: “I’m delighted to welcome Lewis to Newcastle United.
“He is a player we have tracked closely, as have a number of clubs, so it’s very pleasing to secure him and to add a player of his quality, versatility and high potential to our squad.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their tireless work to bring in the players we have.
“A lot of time, effort and resource goes into a transfer window, but we have a real togetherness at all levels here and I appreciate that teamwork and support.”
Hall is a product of the Chelsea academy. He made 12 first-team appearances for the Blues and was named their Academy Player of the Year last season. However, Chelsea needed to sell this summer to help balance the books after their huge spending in the last few transfer windows.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have signed Hall on an initial loan rather than a permanent transfer as this helps them with Financial Fair Play regulations too. Hall has followed Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento to the north east.