Club chief claims ‘respect’ factor saw Newcastle United’s Premier League rivals win transfer race
Newcastle United have been beaten to one of England’s bright young talents by one of their Premier League rivals.
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Newcastle United look to have come off second best in the race to sign one of England’s best youth talents.
Peterborough United have been in talks over the sale of young star Benjamin Arthur this summer after the youngster attracted attention for his performances for Posh under-18s as well as the England youth setup.
Reports during the summer suggested Newcastle were one of those, with the Magpies investing significantly to bolster the talent level of their youth sides since their new owners arrived. Dan Ashworth has put a vast scouting network in place for Newcastle, and that has led to them snapping up talented youngsters from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Leicester City and others.
But it is Brentford who have won the race for 17-year-old talent Arthur, with the Bees, confirming on deadline day: “Arthur will link up with Neil MacFarlane’s B team to continue his development with the young Bees having come through the ranks with Peterborough.
“The 17-year-old central defender featured regularly for Peterborough’s Under-18 side where he helped them to a cup double last season with triumphs in the Professional Development League Cup and the David Joyce Cup.
“Having impressed with his boyhood club, Arthur earned himself a call-up to England’s Under-18 squad for the International Tournament of Lisbon in June this year following some impressive performances in defence. During the tournament he played three times as England drew with Norway and Portugal whilst beating Australia 3-2.”
Peterborough chief MacAnthony has now spoken about the deal, claiming other Premier League clubs lacked respect during the talks.
“The only person who was fully respectful to us was Matthew Benham at Brentford, when they bought Benji Arthur, who is a scholar,” MacAnthony said on The Hard Truth Podcast. “Benji wouldn’t sign a pro deal and we had 20 Premier League clubs [looking at him].”
“The England under-18 manager said he was one of the best centre-backs at that age, let alone for England, and it just set off a whole thing during July and August that all the top clubs, like my Liverpool, hadn’t been to a Posh game and they were coming to our under-21 games, first time I had seen them, and they were all looking at Benji.
“We had a price which was nearly a record for a League One scholar, plus millions in add ons, as I think he will be in their first team in three years’ time. And knowing Brentford, they will probably sell him for £60 or £70 million.
“We have a solid sell on, so we will make millions off it, but to be fair to Matthew, I had a figure up-front and I never changed on the figure and he got the figure, bang.”