In the summer that Newcastle United finally relegated to Sven Putman and broke his transfer record for Alexander Isaacs, it was actually a talented Irish teenager who was the first player to walk through the door.
Alex Murphy was sitting at home when he was first told of the magpie’s interest. The next day, the highly-rated defender was sold on the go after he was convinced by a promotion on a tour of Tyneside.
Newcastle confirmed that an agreement was reached with Galway United in May, two months before Murphy celebrates his 18th birthday. Academy chief Steve Harper hailed the move as a “real coup” for the Magpies, academy chief Steve Harper said, with Brighton and Celtic among the clubs also said to have had an interest.
Quickly settling into life with a Premier League club, Murphy became a mainstay at Elliot Dickman’s Under-21 squad. It was an agreed transfer in a matter of days, and four months in the Republic of Ireland, the young international still loved every minute.
“It was crazy,” Murphy told ChronicleLive. “I was just home, and our manager called my dad and said Newcastle would do a show in the morning. He came out of nowhere, and we drove the next day just to look around and have a look around. It was done from there.
“It was a bit crazy, you see big-name players signing and you see your name next to them. It’s a little weird. The club is going in a good direction, so it was definitely a good time to get in.”
When asked if there was rival interest in his signing, Murphy added: “I think so, yes, there were two teams but that is normal if there is a club like Newcastle around you. There will be more clubs around you, but I just wanted to join Newcastle in the end “.
Murphy proved to be the first of four Academy recruits to arrive at Newcastle this summer. Jordan Hackett signed a contract following his release from Tottenham, while deals were agreed for Scottish duo Charlie MacArthur and Judd Smith from Kilmarnock and East Five respectively.
News of United’s interest may have come out of the blue for Murphy, but it soon became clear that the club had been tracking his lead for some time. The defender explained: “When I entered, they knew a lot about me and had a plan for me.
“It was really good to see that, from day one they showed clips of what I could improve. They also wanted to play a central defender and he’s a top player too, so that wasn’t the case for me.
“At first I was mostly talking to Steve Harper, then it was with some members of the coaching staff. They were all friendly and I felt really good about the place.”
After agreeing to the move, Murphy was left in limbo for two months of continuing to play for Galway United. The teenager scored assists in his last game for the club, and was awarded the club’s Young Player of the Year award after the full-time whistle for victory over the Kobe Ramblers in July.
It’s still pretty early in Murphy’s black and white career, but it’s already clear why Newcastle They made their move. The defender – who can also play as a left-back – has shown great composure in possession and speed in being late in his six matches in the second series so far.
It looks like it’s been a smooth transition for Murphy so far, on and off the field. However, prospect Magpies quickly picked up on the high match-day standards he now has to deliver.
“I love the city, I love the feel around the place and everyone was really friendly and nice,” Murphy said. “It’s really like home, the people aren’t too different so it was easy to settle in.”
“With all the players, the quality is much better. If you make a mistake, you are more likely to be punished. The standard is higher as is the pace of the game, they move the ball faster.”
Murphy’s introduction to life with Newcastle included joining Eddie Howe And the first team lineup in their preparations for the new season in Portugal. The defender also received his first taste at St James’ Park as an unused substitute in the friendly win over Atalanta in Serie A.
“It’s obviously a great experience to go up and learn from players like that, and challenge yourself against the top players,” Murphy said. “He’s a crazy, famous player who’s played in the Champions League, so you watch them do everything they do and try and imitate that, be as good as them if you don’t. be better.”
Murphy wasn’t the only one who benefited from Hao’s approach in the academy, as a number of his fellow academy mates also had similar chances of admiration. The summer signing is reluctant to give up much when asked about his goals for next season, but he insists that a permanent place in the first setup is his main focus.
Murphy added, “I think the goal for everyone under the age of 21 is just to get into the first team, whether it’s this year or next. That’s the goal all along, just to keep improving and do whatever you can to get there.”
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