Magpies sign three promising youngsters
Written by Dan King
Newcastle United can announce the signings of three new Academy players ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage and Cameron Ferguson will all link up with Chris Hogg and Peter Ramage's under-23 team, with Interim Academy Manager Steve Harper believing that they will improve the group "at both ends of the pitch."
Reading-born Wiggett (above), 18, has joined from Chelsea, where he had signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2019 after joining the Blues' academy from Swindon Town.
A regular at under-18 level last term, the centre-back - who has captained Chelsea at several age groups - will now look to step up to under-23 level with the Magpies.
"I'm looking to come in, hit the ground running and impress people to progress my career and do what I can for the club," he told nufc.co.uk. "In my first season I want to see what we can do as an under-23 team - I want to be that leader, encourage the people around me and make sure that we as a team are going to do well - and also push on towards first team level, and I've got a really good feeling about it.
"Obviously I'm from down south but the club seems like an amazing place and the pathway looks really good for me to really make a career out of the game, so I'm really excited about it. It's a really beautiful stadium, the atmosphere on a matchday is insane, so hopefully one day I'll get to play here."
Savage (below) arrives from his boyhood club Liverpool, where he had been since the age of five. Now 19 years old, he is predominately a left-sided centre-back but is also comfortable at left-back.
Making his under-18s debut for Liverpool under Steven Gerrard in the 2017/18 season, he was part of the Reds' FA Youth Cup-winning squad the following season and signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2020. He played for Liverpool in the Papa John's Trophy as well as Premier League 2 last term.
"It's a new challenge and it's good to maybe get out of my comfort zone and move to a new club - and a massive club as well," he told nufc.co.uk. "Hopefully I can show everyone what I've got, and progress with Newcastle.
"I feel like it was the right time for a new chapter and hopefully I can push on from here. I'd like to bring leadership, and hopefully keep the goals out of the net - that's the main job, really! I'll give it my all and hopefully enjoy my time here, and push on as well."
Savage played with the likes of Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Rhys Williams at Liverpool and added: "There are a few who have made their first team, and I'm happy to see that - hopefully I can do the same at Newcastle."
Ferguson (below) is the son of former Newcastle United forward Duncan and has signed from Tranmere Rovers, having previously been at Everton following a spell in Spain. He is 18 years old and, like his father, a tall, left-footed centre forward. He had a successful trial with the Magpies towards the end of last season, which included a goal against Sunderland at under-18 level.
"When I got told they were going to sign me, I was made up," he told nufc.co.uk. "The coaches have been excellent with me so far and everyone's been helping me so much, so I can't wait to get started. Hopefully I can make an impact; the club have put a lot of belief in me and I want to work my hardest and do my best for the team and the club.
"My dad is made up too - he speaks very highly of the club, its fan base and the lovely stadium. When the call came through that I was going to sign, he was so excited and so are the whole family. To come to a club like Newcastle is fantastic and I'm over the moon."
Interim Academy Manager Steve Harper thanked the Academy's Head of National and International Recruitment Paul Baker and his team, adding: "We're really pleased with the addition of three very good players, but also good characters. Sir Bobby Robson always used to say, 'don't just bring in good players, bring in good people,' and that has stuck with me.
"They will improve us at both ends of the pitch. Cameron is technically good and there's still a lot to come from him physically, which we know will take time - and it was great to see Big Dunc, who made his Newcastle debut in the same game as me, when Cameron's family came with him to sign his contract.
"In Charlie, we see real leadership qualities and we've been impressed by what we've seen of Remi. They have left Chelsea and Liverpool respectively because they - and we - believe there are opportunities for them to progress here.
"In my four months in this interim role, the club and the gaffer have been very supportive and we've worked together to make improvements both on and off the pitch."
"We're really pleased with the addition of three very good players, but also good characters. Sir Bobby Robson always used to say, 'don't just bring in good players, bring in good people,' and that has stuck with me."