JONAS Gutierrez has urged Alan Pardew’s young guns to ‘seize the day’ this season – and prove they are the future of Newcastle United.
While United make laborious progress in their efforts to add seasoned professionals to their squad, the club have signed three ‘development’ players who are expected to play a part in the cup competitions this year.
Curtis Good, Gael Bigirimana and Romain Amalfitano have been included alongside Haris Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi and James Tavernier in a crop of players that Pardew intends to use in the Carling Cup and Europa League – provided they prove they are up to it.
All six are expected to be taken to Holland for the club’s friendly clash with Den Haag on Saturday.
That match is one which United boss Pardew intends to use as a dress rehearsal for next season’s Europa League campaign.
Old stager Gutierrez believes they have enough quality to force their way into the first-team picture – provided that they maintain their current rate of progress. He is also content to act as mentor for them as he enters his fifth season in black and white.
“I am happy to be one of the senior men. The years go by and you grow up which is good,” he told The Journal.
“Now we have a lot of young players in the squad so it is good to have a chat with them.
“They have to learn about the Premier League but from working with them I can say that they have a really, really good future.
“We have a big group of young players so if they learn and try to improve, they can be very big in the future for Newcastle United.
“Maybe this season too, because we don’t have the biggest squad.
“With Europe too we have a lot of games and I think all of the players are going to be part
of it this season.” United are back on Tyneside being put through their paces as their pre-season work continues. Gutierrez feels these are crucial weeks for Pardew’s men.
“We have a really good team spirit but we have to focus in pre-season to work hard, to gel together and to move forward because it’s going to be a long season,” he said.
It might feel like an even longer summer as United continue to bide their time in their bid to bring in three players before the transfer window closes on September 3.
A right-back and a striker are the priorities but Alan Pardew is pushing for the addition of Vurnon Anita, who would add versatility to his squad.
There are reservations about the Ajax player’s wage demands, though.
United insiders are still predicting a renewed effort to sign Mathieu Debuchy (pictured below) before the end of the week, but both sides appeared to be jockeying for position last night.
The Journal understands that Lille want £8million for the player but Newcastle’s highest offer so far is no more than £6m.
Now that United know that they will not have to fork out for a replacement for Demba Ba it should free up the cash for a new offer for the player.
But Newcastle are famed for their brinkmanship on transfers, and it would be no surprise if the saga dragged on until the end of the week.
An alternative has been sourced but missing out on Debuchy would be a significant blow for Newcastle.
And that would not go down well with close friend Yohan Cabaye, who called for the deal to be concluded swiftly in Monday’s Journal.
Another target, Andy Carroll, was left out of Liverpool’s Europa League squad to play Belarus side FC Gomel tonight. The Reds claimed he had a groin strain.