Newcastle United Opinion: Jon McCracken could prove to be a good long-term prospect for the Magpies

According to The Shields Gazette, Newcastle United are eyeing a raid on newly-promoted outfit Norwich City for 19-year-old goalkeeper Jon McCracken.

The Scottish youth international is yet to make his senior competitive bow for the Canaries but he was a regular with the U-23 side in the Premier League 2 this past season.

The 19-year-old made 13 appearances for Norwich City U-23s in the Premier League 2 in the previous campaign, conceding 34 goals and managing a solitary clean sheet in the process.

A youth product of Scottish club Hamilton Academical, McCracken was brought in to Carrow Road by former Norwich manager Alex Neil back in 2016. Since then, the youngster has been a regular with the club’s reserve side, as well as training with the first-team, alongside the likes of Tim Krul and Michael McGovern.

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Well, not much is known about McCracken, who has represented Scotland at U-16 and U-17 levels, but Newcastle must have seen something in the young shot-stopper that has convinced them to firm up their interest in him.

The 19-year-old is yet to make his senior professional debut for the Canaries, but given that he is highly-rated in the academy and a regular with the U-23 side, it probably won’t be a bad idea for Newcastle to go ahead with a deal.

The Shields Gazette claims that Magpies manager Rafael Benitez will be looking to overhaul his goalkeeping options this summer if he stays beyond his current contract, which is supposed to expire at the end of June.

The report suggests that the Spaniard is willing to let former No.1 Rob Elliot depart the club, while Karl Darlow has also been deemed surplus to demands. England U-21 shot-stopper Freddie Woodman is expected to earn a new deal at Tyneside and continue as an understudy to No.1 Martin Dubravka next season.

Newcastle are currently quite well-stocked in the goalkeeping department, with the likes of Darlow, Dubravka, Woodman and Elliot in their ranks. However, an overhaul of options between the sticks this summer involving the likes of Darlow and Elliot would see the Magpies lose considerable cover in that area of the pitch.

Hence, they would need to bring in another goalkeeper, possibly a young and talented one, to maintain the right kind of balance in their squad.

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Yet to make his senior debut for Norwich, Jon McCracken is very much an unknown entity to the fans at Tyneside, but bringing him in for a thrifty fee won’t do Newcastle much harm.

Should Dubravka and Woodman be left to vie for the No.1 role in the first-team next season, Newcastle would also need to ensure that they have the right kind of competition for places in their reserve side. And that is exactly where someone like McCracken would fit in.

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Newcastle have already released Otto Huuhtanen at the reserve level and McCracken, with his experience of playing in the Premier League 2, would provide good competition for Nathan Harker.

The club’s interest in the 19-year-old is unlikely to create too much noise amongst the fans at Tyneside but it could prove to be a piece of shrewd business, nevertheless.

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