Jacob Murphy’s looking to emulate hero Laurent Robert at Newcastle

Jacob Murphy was a hit at the Euro Under-21s Championships
Jacob Murphy was a hit at the Euro Under-21s Championships

Jacob Murphy fulfilled a lifelong dream by signing for Newcastle United – then vowed to bring “pace and flair” to Rafa Benitez’s side.

The boyhood fan yesterday completed a £12million move from Norwich City.

Murphy could make his debut against Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday.

The Wembley-born winger – who grew up worshipping Laurent Robert – has always followed the club because of his Geordie family.

And Murphy is relishing playing for United manager Benitez in the Premier League.

“When the interest came in from a manager like Rafa comes in, it’s a no-brainer,” said the 22-year-old.

“He’s managed some of the best players and best teams in the world.

“If I got the chance to work with him, you’d be silly not to say yes to it. He can only get my game stronger from here.”

Asked what he hoped to bring to the team, Benitez said: “An attacking flair, pace.

“I’m very direct. I like to shoot. I like to provide chances for the team. I’m an attacking wide midfielder, so I’ll try my best to get goals and assists for this club.”

Murphy posted a series of photographs on Twitter of himself as a youngster in United shirts after his move was confirmed by the club.

“It was a childhood dream of mine to come and represent Newcastle,” said the 22-year-old.

“The opportunity’s now here, and I can’t wait to get started.

“It’s a proud moment for myself and my family. Everyone’s crazy Newcastle supporters, so the move to come here was a no-brainer, really.

“My first game I went to watch with my brother was Newcastle-PSV in the UEFA Cup. It was a 2-1 win. Alan Shearer and Gary Speed got the goals. Laurent Robert, Olivier Bernard – I enjoyed watching those players growing up.

“They used to really stick out to me. Robert with his wand of a left foot. He used to cannon everything in.”

Asked about his Geordie family, he said: “My mother’s from Birtley. My dad a little further up in Ashington.

“The rest of my family are all from Gateshead. They’ve always been Newcastle supporters, and that was the team I chose to follow.

“I’ve been getting messages from them and they’re really excited to see it go through.”

Newcastle are expected to complete the signing of defender Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid today.

The 23-year-old – who spent last season loan at Sunderland – is set to sign a three-year deal.

Meanwhile, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest have been linked with moves for United striker Daryl Murphy.

The 34-year-old, also a target for Sunderland, will leave the club this summer, according to Benitez.

Benitez said: “We have been chatting at training in recent days, and he knows that if a club comes in, he will go on a permanent transfer once the deal is best for him and us.