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Murphy makes Premier League debut for Newcastle United in 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Murphy makes Premier League debut for Newcastle United in 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea Murphy makes Premier League debut for Newcastle United in 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea

Alex Murphy joined an exclusive group of Galway men to have played top-flight football in England when he made his Premier League debut for Newcastle United on Saturday their 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea at St James’ Park.

The Corrandulla teenager came on in the 87th minute of the game at St James’ Park, which saw him join the late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy (debut on December 1979 for Aston Villa), as well as Rory Ginty (December 1997, Crystal Palace), Tony Folan (May 1998, Crystal Palace), Greg Cunningham (April 2010, Manchester City), and Aaron Connolly (August 2019, Brighton) as Galwegians who have played at the highest level of the English league.

The former Corrib Celtic and Galway United defender had received his first call-up to the match-day squad for a league game a fortnight earlier, before the break for the international window, when he was an unused sub for the 2-0 defeat away to Bournemouth.

A personnel crisis at the Magpies, which sees them missing 11 senior squad members through injury, meant manager Eddie Howe dipped into the club’s reserve and U-21 squads for back-up, and Murphy was again named in the 20-man squad for last Saturday’s game, getting his first taste of Premier League action when replacing Miguel Almirón three minutes from time.

“He is absolutely over the moon, his feet haven’t touched the ground yet. Since he was five years old, it is all he has wanted to do, he knows it is a dream come true and he realises he is in a very privileged position,” his family told City Sport this week.

There was a suggestion that the teenager would go out on loan from Newcastle during the January transfer window in order to further his experience, and while that still might be the case, the injury crisis at Newcastle means he might be retained for first-team duty.

A back problem has sidelined regular left-back, Dan Burn, until at least mid-January; while second-choice left-back, Matt Target, is out until February with a hamstring injury. Lewis Hall is on loan from Chelsea, but was not eligible to play against his parent club last Saturday, so Murphy provided the defensive back-up, and he is hoping to be in the squad again tomorrow when Newcastle host Manchester United.

Pictured: Alex Murphy

 

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