Newcastle United saw Hugo Ekitike signing as “an investment for the future”

In speaking with The Athletic this week, Amanda Staveley, general manager of Newcastle United, confirmed that the Premier League club had indeed tried to sign both 19-year-old Reims’ striker Hugo Ekitike and Lille centre-back Sven Botman in January:

“We examined all players available in Europe, America, everywhere. There were a few young players we wanted to bring in like Ekitike, but he wouldn’t have been a player for today, he would have been an investment for the future.”

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“We had to encourage players – ‘we’ll be a safe place for you, we’ll deliver and grow’. Some desperately wanted to come to us, like Sven Botman, who still does very much and has talked very openly about that.”