Wed 27 Mar 2024, 10:59 · Ash Harrison

'A huge weapon': Manager now says 19-year-old Newcastle man's decision-making has improved

'A huge weapon': Manager now says 19-year-old Newcastle man's decision-making has improved
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Newcastle United's first summer signing at the start of this season has yet to even train with the Magpies but already has the Toon Army excited.

Newcastle swooped to pick up Yankuba Minteh from OB Odense in the summer, but the £5million signing was immediately loaned out to Dutch Eredivisie champions Feyenoord for the season.

Feyenoord boss Arne Slot wasted no time in seeing what Minteh could do in pre-season and even demanded that the Ghanian winger take a penalty during a friendly which he duly converted.

Minteh has gone on to feature regularly for Feyenoord and though there was some criticism of his play at times, Slot has stuck with the youngster throughout the season.

Yankuba Minteh 1920x1080
Humbug: More black and white Minteh please

Minteh was criticised for his decision-making earlier in the season

With the season coming to a close, Arne Slot has spoken to Ziggo Sport/FR12 (via Sport Witness) about Minteh's progress and the downside of him improving his game.

“He has mostly played a lot in his native country, where very little tactics are involved. When you’re that fast, though, it’s a huge weapon. One action and he’s gone, then you don’t catch up with him either. I think his choices are already getting better in the final stages. The only annoying thing for us is that if his choices get really good, he probably won’t play with us anymore"

Already this season, Minteh has made 29 appearances for Feyenoord in all competitions, scoring eight times and providing three assists with one of those goals coming in the Champions League. He had been called out for being too greedy or making the wrong call in the final third, but Arne Slot has noticed a significant improvement in that part of his game.


Newcastle fans are hoping Minteh will be given a chance in the first-team next season

Newcastle fans have been keeping an eye on his progress from afar and there are already hopes that Eddie Howe will keep him at the club next season and give him a shot in the first-team after his progress at Feyenoord.

One thing to note, however, is the step up in quality and intensity from the Eredivisie to the Premier League and we have to be sure that Minteh is ready for that leap. He has dealt with the jump from the Danish league to the Eredivise well, and the fact that he's now also got Champions League experience is also a good sign.

If Newcastle fail to secure a top-class right winger in the summer transfer window (which is frankly unthinkable right now), then Minteh must stick around and play a part next season.