Midfielder Dan Ward has revealed on Twitter he has agreed to quit Newcastle United for their bitter rivals Middlesbrough.
The 20-year-old took to his personal social media account on Friday afternoon to express his delight at making the short journey to the Championship outfit.
Ward explained that he had “made some friends and memories that will last a lifetime” from his four years at St James’ Park.
Delighted to sign for @Boro ????
Enjoyed the last 4 years with Newcastle United. Trained + played with some great players, made some friends and memories that will last a lifetime. I’d like to thank everyone @NUFC for my time there. Now time to make this season a successful one???????? pic.twitter.com/rJVnQKpOZt
— Dan Wardy (@dan_wardyy) August 3, 2018
There has been an exodus of players from Newcastle this summer both young and a bit older, and there will be disappointment among supporters that another academy product has headed through the exit door. That frustration will be exacerbated by the fact the South Shields-born central midfielder has headed to neighbours Boro. The two clubs may be in different divisions, but the rivalry is such that a move of this kind never goes down well with fans. Nevertheless, who can blame Ward? He made 31 appearances for the north-east giants at Under-23s level, but did not appear placed to make the step up to the senior squad. Certainly, few have done that in recent years as the supply line from the academy to the first team has virtually ground to a halt since Paul Dummett’s breakthrough. Manager Rafael Benitez is desperate to overhaul the club’s youth set-up but his demands for the finances to do so have been met with a deaf ear from owner Mike Ashley. Quel surprise. It is little wonder Newcastle an’t hang on to their young guns.