Newcastle United youngster reveals why he turned down a move to Leeds United and West Ham
Matthew Bondswell has revealed why he decided to join Newcastle United, despite interest from Leeds and West Ham.
The 18-year-old was announced as a Magpies player earlier this month, initially teaming up with Chris Hogg and Peter Ramage’s under-23s.
The former Nottingham Forest youngster was released by RB Leipzig in January, allowing him to return to England after three years away.
Bondswell, who has represented England at under 15s to 18s level, was not short offers but it was Newcastle who won the race for his signature.
And Bondswell himself has disclosed his reasons for moving to Tyneside.
He told NUFC.co.uk: "I think Newcastle was the club which made the most sense in terms of where I am at the moment. They offer the best opportunity for me to be where I want to be in the future.
"If you ask every footballer, the majority will say their goal is to play in the Premier League. That is part of the reason why I came to Newcastle as well because of the projects they have had with the young players in the under-23s, and hopefully going on to playing first-team football.
"As well as the football side of things, I've heard many great things about the city. I have a few friends living up here so that helped in making the decision, being in and around a place where I feel comfortable and being able to settle in quickly.
He spent the first half of the season on loan at Dutch side FC Dordrecht before it was cut short ahead of his Leipzig exit.
Bondswell, picked by scouts for his speed and athleticism from being a schoolboy sprinter at county level and a triple-jumper, is viewed as a typical modern-day full-back.
He said: “For now, I want to get myself settled in, making sure I'm ready to be part of the under-23 team and contribute in games as soon as I can," he said.
"I want to showcase my ability because you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression so you've got to do what you can.
"I want to prove myself to those people that I need to impress, showing what I can do which can hopefully lead to more opportunities in the future."