Newcastle legend adds non-league Riyad Mahrez to his team
By Will Butcher
Newcastle icon and Under-21 manager Peter Beardsley has signed wonderkids Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Stuart Findlay.
El-Mhanni, nicknamed the ‘non-league Riyad Mahrez‘ during a trial with Chelsea earlier this year, has spent time with Aldershot Town and Farnborough Town.
Former Celtic defender Findlay has also signed a professional deal after spending last season on-loan at Kilmarnock.
As reported by the official Newcastle website, the two 20-year-olds will be part of Beardsley’s Under-21s set-up at St James’ Park.
Born in London to Moroccan parents, El-Mhanni brings a wealth of non-league experience to Beardsley’s youth set-up and has had trials at West Brom, Crystal Palace and Liverpool.
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Findlay has represented Scotland at under-21 level on 13 separate occasions, after previously enjoying loan spells at Greenock Morton and Dumbarton.
Beardsley, who became a hero on Tyneside during two spells at St. James’ Park is delighted to have the two young stars on board.
“It’s exciting for them, it’s exciting for us and it’s a really good thing for the club.” Beardsley said to the club’s official website.
“Steve Nickson and his recruitment staff have done their homework and done really well, and we’re excited.
“They’re good lads, they’re nice lads and they mix well with the group, and that for me is the most important thing.”
Findlay and El-Mhanni aren’t the only players to be confirmed as Magpies on Friday afternoon, with Champions League defender Jesus Gamez signing a two-year deal from Atletico Madrid on a free transfer.
First-team manager Rafa Benitez has also brought in Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle and Matz Sels in an attempt to return the Magpies to the Premier League in his first attempt.
In other Newcastle news, Premier League side Liverpool are after one of the Magpies’ star players.