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Newcastle manager Bobby Robson
"We have just bought a big young talent."
 real 14k

Friday, 22 September, 2000, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Newcastle seal Lua Lua deal
Lomana Lua Lua
Toon bound striker Lomana Lua Lua
Newcastle have completed the signing of Lomana Tresor Lua Lua from Colchester United for a fee of 2.25m.

The Zaire-born striker has agreed a five-year contract after manager Bobby Robson moved to strengthen a forward line which also includes Alan Shearer, 7m summer capture Carl Cort from Wimbledon and Argentinian Daniel Cordone.

Robson watched 19-year-old Lua Lua in Colchester's home league matches against Oldham and Bournemouth before upping his initial bid that was rejected by the Second Division club.

After clinching the deal, Robson said: "We've been negotiating on this for some time now. I see him as a special talent. He has to learn how to play with the other players but he's a special new talent.

He has to be nursed and cherished and taught. But we are buying long-term a very promising talent, a very promising player.
  Bobby Robson

"He has to be nursed and cherished and taught. But we are buying long-term a very promising talent, a very promising player."

Colchester chairman Peter Heard, though disappointed to be losing his prized asset, admitted that the offer was eventually one that the Essex club had to accept.

Financial security

"We were anxious not to lose Lomana but we had to respect the strong wishes of the player and his family," said Heard.

"Although he was happy at Colchester it is perfectly understandable that he would want to play at a Premier club.

"The transfer fee gives us the opportunity to establish financial security for the club and will assist with the cost of the new ground. We all wish Lomana every success for the future"

Lua Lua was first brought to Robson's attention within weeks of his arrival at Colchester by former Us manager Mick Wadsworth, now head coach at St James' Park.

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