Newcastle have reportedly decided their Garang Kuol plan for next season

Garang Kuol is reportedly set to head out on loan again next season, with Premier League giants Newcastle United eyeing more game time for the A-Leagues graduate.

Kuol joined Scottish Premiership outfit Hearts on loan in January – teaming up with fellow Socceroos Kye Rowles, Cam Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson, but the 18-year-old has struggled for minutes in Edinburgh.



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KUOL: Hearts boss explains exactly why Aussie sensation hasn’t been playing

The former Central Coast Mariners sensation has only seen 190 minutes of league action across seven appearances, including one start, prompting Kuol to sit down with Hearts management to discuss his role at the club, according to the Evening Edinburgh News.

Having not been seen off the bench in the past five games and without an appearance under interim head coach Steve Naismith, The Athletic claims sporting director Dan Ashworth has decided to arrange another loan move for Kuol in 2023-24.

“Ashworth, who led the push for the signing, had also been watching Kuol’s progress closely,” the report says.

“The plan is for another season-long loan, with both Newcastle and Kuol wanting a deal to be done early in the window to maximise the teenager’s pre-season. The league has not yet been decided, but there is thought that remaining in British football is appealing, especially given his lack of minutes at Tynecastle.”

In the same report, Naismith spoke positively about the 2022 A-Leagues All Star – who has not made it onto the field since an eight-minute cameo in a Scottish Cup final loss to Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic on March 11.

“I don’t think there needs to be a demand on him to play loads of games at the moment,” Naismith told The Athletic.

“Don’t get me wrong, next season I would expect him to play a few more minutes than he has and he needs to do that — but it doesn’t need to be a regular start every week because he is a young player.

“He’s going to have dips in form — he just needs to ride those waves. There can’t be a push saying ‘He needs to be in the first-team.’ That’ll come, and the more he’ll play, the more he’ll gain confidence, and the more he’ll be successful.”

Kuol’s only start during his time at Hearts came in a 3-0 loss at home to giants Rangers on February 1.

That rare start, under former boss Robbie Nielson, saw the Australia international incredibly named in midfield before he was substituted at half-time.

“He’s a really brave guy,” Naismith said. “He’s arrived from Australia, and could have stayed at Newcastle for six months just to understand the club — but he’s wanted to go on loan. His character is brilliant.

“When he takes a clash, he just gets up and gets on with it. He’s really game. You see a lot of youth players coming into the first-team environment who want a foul for every contact that’s made. He’s not like that, he’s happy getting around.

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Naismith added: “He has great pace, which is a big advantage, but also a real calmness. When he gets the ball in that final third he’s happy to control it, he’s not in a rush to shoot, he’s happy to get it under control, and then manipulate the ball and get a shot off.

“Being so young, the reaction when he loses the ball, maybe his positioning when out of possession, these are the things that we need to improve.

“When the team is in a tough moment, it’s a higher risk to bring a young player on. That has certainly not helped the situation.”

According to that report, Kuol joined Newcastle with the aim of cracking the first team squad for the 2024-25 season, while there was also interest in him from the Championship, several Scottish clubs, Portugal and Germany.

His application in training has been praised, with the Aussie participating in one-on-one coaching alongside regular training – and even has his own nutritionist.

“He’s probably the last off the training pitch, which is great to see,” Naismith said.

“At times he probably is doing too much close to games, just in case he’s needed. But it’s because he’s got a hunger to learn.

“The first real conversation I had with him since taking over was about how he was feeling. He’s moved halfway around the world, he’s signed with one club, and he’s joined another club. I know how much that can take out of you.”