Newcastle United have been tracking Rochdale wonderkid Luke Matheson for over a year now, according to The Chronicle.
The newspaper claims that the Magpies have been taking a look at the 16-year-old well in advance of his sensational Wednesday night effort against Manchester United.
The teenage defender scored the equaliser for the Dale as they were beaten on penalties by the Red Devils in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford.
And the north east giants have had the youngster on their radar for over 12 months, since he made his first team debut in the Checkatrade Trophy last season.
It’s strange, because Matheson produced much more from an attacking point of view against United than he did defensively, which is a damning indictment of the hosts at Old Trafford. As per WhoScored.com, the 16-year-old didn’t make a single tackle, interception, clearance or block. However, going forward he gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fits. He knocked four balls forward, two of them finding their man, while he had one shot on target – the goal – and was fouled three times, demonstrating that he was a serious thorn in United’s side. It’s no surprise that Premier League sides like Newcastle have been keeping an eye on a player who’s still only 16 years of age, yet made his first team debut last campaign. He’s clearly a hot prospect and is certainly someone Newcastle should be tracking. The Magpies certainly need a reliable right back, with none of DeAndre Yedlin, Javier Manquillo or Emil Krafth impressing in recent times. However, Matheson still needs a bit of seasoning before he’s ready for that.