Newcastle complete deal for Gael Bigirimana from Coventry
Friday 06 July 2012
Teenage midfielder Gael Bigirimana has become Alan Pardew's latest summer capture after sealing a move from Coventry.
The Burundi-born 18-year-old midfielder has signed a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee, which it is understood could amount to around £1million.
Bigirimana's move was confirmed by the Magpies this afternoon, and follows the arrival of French midfielder Romain Amalfitano.
He is expected to go straight into the club's development squad, although the demands of the new Barclays Premier League season and a Europa League campaign mean Pardew may well have to dip deep into his resources.
The youngster, who arrived in England in 2004 as a refugee from his war-torn homeland, has made major strides since asking for a trial at Coventry as an 11-year-old, and figured in the npower Championship on 26 occasions last season.
He was subsequently named Football League Apprentice of the Year.
He told NUFC TV: "It's a dream, it's a dream for me. Since I was a kid, I always watched the football - the Premier League and also big leagues - and I always hoped that one day I would make it.
"But I didn't realise it would be this soon, so it's an exciting moment in my life and a challenge which I am looking forward to."
Bigirimana got his chance at Coventry after spotting the Academy training ground while out buying milk and persuading staff there to take at look at him.
He will be forever grateful to them, but admitted that the chance to move to Newcastle was simply too good to reject.
He said: "Coventry was a great place for me - I couldn't have hoped for better people to help me in my football career. I really appreciate Coventry and I will always love them.
"It's my home, because when I moved from Africa, that's where I lived and the experience I had at Coventry, it was an amazing time.
"For me to move to Newcastle, which is a big, big, massive move for me, and I still can't believe it. It's like I am still dreaming."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3: Steven Gerrard says Liverpool were 'upset' after Old Trafford win, because 'we didn't score more goals'
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3: Wayne Rooney claims 'that was my worst day in football' following humiliation at Old Trafford
Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1 match report: Tomas Rosicky rocket sees Arsenal open up gap from Spurs in Premier League table
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 match report: Steven Gerrard scores twice from the spot before Luis Suarez strike to punish woeful champions at Old Trafford
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 - player ratings: Who scored highest at Old Trafford - Steven Gerrard or Luis Suarez?
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say