Newcastle United have completed a deal to sign Central Coast Mariners forward Garang Kuol, who will join the Premier League side in January 2023.
The 18-year-old is a highly-rated prospect in Australian football and Newcastle said he “attracted interest from a number of high-profile clubs” before penning a deal at St. James’ Park.
"It's unreal. As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they'll reach those heights,” Kuol said.
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“To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it's amazing. Now that I've signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here."
Kuol’s hopes of featuring at the World Cup were boosted by his impressive debut for the senior Australia team in a 2-0 friendly win over New Zealand on Sunday.
The Egypt-born forward came on for the final 20 minutes and was a lively presence as he staked his claim for a place in the squad heading to Qatar.
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Kuol's appearance made him the youngest player to pull on the Australia shirt since Harry Kewell in 1996.
His eye-catching Socceroos debut followed a remarkable rise over the last six months; the forward made his A-League debut aged 17 in April, and quickly scored four goals in eight games.
That form caught the attention of big clubs in Europe, and Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth hopes to see his rise continue on Tyneside.
"Garang is a very promising young talent and we are excited that he'll be continuing his development as a Newcastle United player,” said Ashworth.
"Our philosophy is to invest in our Academy and in exciting young players for the future, as well as in players required to make an immediate impact in the first team.
"We wish Garang the best of luck in his remaining games with Central Coast Mariners and we hope to see him on the international stage again very soon."
Australia will be up against France, Tunisia and Denmark in Group D at the World Cup.
Before then, Kuol’s new club have a packed fixture schedule of nine games in six weeks.
Eddie Howe’s side, who are 10th after picking up eight points from their first seven games, face Fulham at Craven Cottage next on Saturday.
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