England-born Zimbabwean youngster Michael Ndiweni has made a massive leap in his fledgling career after making his first team debut for English Premier League side Newcastle United on Saturday.
Ndiweni was introduced as a 92nd-minute substitute as Newcastle United beat Chelsea 4-1 at St James Park to mark his first cap in the English Premier League for the senior team.
The youngster was named in the team that hosted Chelsea at St James Park and he was finally rewarded with his first cap later on in the second half, replacing Anthony Gordon.
Ndiweni mainly featured for Newcastle’s Under 21s but trained with the senior team regularly in the past season after displaying exceptional talent.
The highly-rated teenage striker caught first-team boss Eddie Howe’s attention after scoring 14 goals in 19 matches for Newcastle’s under-18 squad last term as well as netting in the under-21s’ Papa John’s Trophy.
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He then admitted that he was ‘proud’ to see fans talking about him on social media.
“It’s exciting because we’re doing so well, and daunting because the standard is getting better every single game. If you think about last season to now, we’re third in the Premier League,” Ndiweni said in an interview with Chronicle Live last year.
“The standard is always increasing; you just don’t want to be left behind. It’s about working hard, and try to keep up and get into the first team.
“The standard is really, really high. The gaffer demands so much, and it’s good. He’s just changed the way the team is playing, and he demands a lot from the young players which is really good.”
The gifted forward, who is reportedly being courted by Zimbabwean football authorities was rewarded for his progress after signing a year-long contract extension with the Magpies in June this year.
The promising 19-year-old forward had initially signed his first professional contract at Newcastle United last year after rising through the club’s junior ranks.
Ndiweni was born in Throckley, Newcastle to Zimbabwean parents and joined the Newcastle youth set-up at the age of 12 and is eligible to play for the Warriors or his country of birth in international football.
Zimbabwean fans will be hoping he decides to play for the Warriors, which would see him joining other UK-born stars such as Tendayi Darikwa, Jordan Zemura, Andy Rinomhota, Tivonge Rushesha and Brendan Galloway just to mention a few.
Michael Ndiweni 🌟
Amadou Diallo 🌟
Alex Murphy 🌟
Three Newcastle United debutants this afternoon.
Congratulations, lads! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/bCSetQkatH
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 25, 2023