Ex-Arsenal youngster Stefan O’Connor has impressed in his U23 debut for new club Newcastle.
The 20-year-old who started his youth career at Crystal Palace, joined Arsenal in 2010, signing professional terms in 2014. The centre-back only made one appearance for the first-team, in the 2014/15 Champions League.
After two loans in the following two seasons to York City and MVV Maastricht, where he was only given four appearances on each occasion, he was released this summer and signed by the Magpies.
Stefan will be pleased to have made a good first impression at Newcastle, after making his debut in a pre-season friendly for the U23s against Darlington. He played the opening 45 minutes in a 2-1 win, earning praise from his new coach Peter Beardsley.
“Stefan was very good in the first half. Him and Curtis made a good pair. I have got seven or eight who can all play at this level. It was awkward to decide who to play and who to leave out. “But they were both very good, both the debutants were good,” reports Chronicle Live.
It’s good to hear he’s fitting in well so far, and Stefan will hope he’s one of the players who holds down a position once the season gets underway.
As for settling in at Newcastle in general, he’ll have Isaac Hayden for company, who was also part of the Arsenal academy and moved on a permanent deal to join the newly promoted Premier League side last summer.