When Newcastle confirmed the arrival of Kilmarnock defender Charlie McArthur on Wednesday, it signalled a change of intent from the club.
For too long, the academy and youth system was neglected, seen as an afterthought by the hierarchy of the club.
It was a move that typified Mike Ashley’s tenure on Tyneside, prioritising short-term mediocrity over any sense of building for the future.
But that has all changed this year. Newcastle are now looking to the future and are casting their net far and wide in order to improve their youth teams.
In addition to McArthur, who had been eyed by Manchester City and Liverpool before switching to Newcastle, the Magpies have also brought in Galway United’s Alex Murphy and Tottenham Hotspur’s Jordan Hackett.
It’s unlikely that we will see any of these players in the first-team for a while yet, but their arrivals will help the Under-23 setup to start challenging at the right end of the division.
It’s a very simple concept but Newcastle having a better youth setup, one that can challenge and go toe-to-toe with the very best academies in the country, will only help in their long-term vision.
Sure, in the future that vision will hopefully see lots of local talent coming through the system but, right now, these additions from around the country will hopefully be the kickstart to brighter things for the future.