Newcastle United have completed the signing of former RB Leipzig left-back Matthew Bondswell, beating several Premier League clubs to his signature.
The 18-year-old became a free agent after being released by RB Leipzig in January. Both West Ham United and Leeds United were said to be keen.
And now it has been confirmed he is a Newcastle player. Bondswell came up through the Nottingham Forest youth academy before moving to Leipzig in 2018.
He did not make a senior appearances for the Bundesliga outfit and moved to Dutch club FC Dordrecht on loan last summer. The Nottingham-born starlet made seven starts for the second-tier side but his contract was terminated in January.
That made clubs sit up and take note and started the battle for his services. Steve Bruce has won that particular race and the youngster was delighted to be a Newcastle player.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be at such a big club,” he told the club’s official website. “I’m really looking forward to getting started with the boys and hopefully doing some successful things in the future.”
Bondswell with pace to burn
Bondswell has attracted attention from some of the biggest clubs in the past. He was scouted by Chelsea while Sporting were also said to be keen on the full-back.
Capped by England at all levels between Under-15 and Under-18, he could give fellow defenders the odd nightmare down the flanks. He was singled out for his pace by national coaches, after representing his county at sprinting and triple-jump.
While by no means the finished article, Bruce and his coaching team will hope to develop the teenager. He will join up with United’s Under-23 squad under the tutelage of Chris Hogg and Peter Ramage.
It remains to be seen whether Bondswell is given any first-team action before the end of the campaign. If the Tynesiders manage to secure their top-flight survival before the final game, then he may be given a run-out.
Newcastle’s next task is a huge clash with Brighton at the Amex on Saturday. Victory would see them leapfrog the Seagulls but defeat could mean Bruce’s men enter the bottom three.