Newcastle United still intend to send Garang Kuol out on loan in January and have received significant interest in the 18-year-old from home and abroad, but his temporary destination is yet to be decided.
The Australia international impressed during two substitute appearances at the World Cup and was denied an historic injury-time equaliser against Argentina in their last-16 tie by an excellent save by Emi Martinez.
Dan Ashworth, Newcastle’s sporting director, was instrumental in signing Kuol and has followed his development closely, with the club encouraged by his progress, following six goals and three assists in just 327 minutes spread across 13 A-League substitute appearances. But, given that he has only start a solitary senior match, in the Australian Cup, Newcastle feel it is essential he gains greater experience out on loan, probably in Europe.
Although Newcastle have agreed a deal to acquire Kuol from Central Coast Mariners, the transfer does not become official until January 1, once the mid-season window opens, and the forward is set to feature for his present club in the A-League over the coming weeks. He arrived back in Australia on Monday wearing a Newcastle shirt and will return to training with Mariners tomorrow.
Another complicating factor for Newcastle is Kuol’s eligibility to play in England. Footballers joining from overseas must obtain a visa to play in the UK and, although appearing at the World Cup should help Kuol’s cause, the post-Brexit process remains largely untested.
Kuol is unlikely to automatically receive a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) from the FA, but Newcastle are hopeful that his appearances in Qatar — when he became the first teenager since Pele, in 1958, to appear in the knockout stages of the World Cup — will mean he receives a work permit.
Regardless, Kuol is highly unlikely to feature regularly for Eddie Howe’s first team this season, which is why a loan is deemed essential.
There have already been several enquiries about Kuol from clubs in England and across Europe, with a temporary move to the Continent appearing most likely. Portugal and Germany are potential destinations, although a final decision has yet to be made.
‘Expect excitement’ – Garang Kuol, Newcastle’s Australian World Cup prodigy
(Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images)