Belfast Telegraph

Magpies swoop for Bigirimana

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 follows the Magpies' signing 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."


From Belfast Telegraph