Newcastle United have showcased a real willingness to invest in potential stars for the future in recent times, with Eddie Howe overseeing the arrivals of budding gems like Harrison Ashby and Anthony Gordon of late, along with the 2022 acquisition of Australian teenager Garang Kuol.
As much as short-term success will be on the agenda for PIF, the new regime also appear keen to build for the future, with that focus on the long-term no doubt emphasised by the Magpies’ reported interest in signing highly-coveted Bristol City starlet Alex Scott.
What’s the latest on Alex Scott to Newcastle?
According to The Mirror, the Tynesiders are believed to be ready to ‘enter the race’ for the 19-year-old dynamo ahead of the summer transfer window, with Howe and co said to be currently ‘running checks’ on the teenage sensation.
The report suggests that the St James’ Park outfit will also be joined in the battle for the youngster by the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and West Ham United, while Wolverhampton Wanderers were also keen on a deal last month, only to be put off by the Championship club’s reported £25m asking price.
Could Alex Scott be the next Grealish?
The versatile gem – who can feature all across the midfield and on the flanks – has been making waves as a result of his standout displays for the Robins in recent times, having provided five assists in 32 league games so far this season, with all of those outings coming from the start.
Despite his relative youth, the playmaker has already established himself as a regular fixture in Nigel Pearson’s side, having particularly impressed with his ability to put in the hard yards defensively by averaging 2.3 tackles per game this season.
The England U20 international is also a real master at driving his team up the pitch with a surging run from deep, with that trait showcased by his ranking in the top 17% among those in his position in what FBref term as the ‘Men’s next eight competitions’ for progressive carries, as well as in the top 19% for successful take-ons.
That silky elegance has seen young Scott lauded as the ‘Guernsey Grealish‘ due to his apparent likeness to Manchester City star Jack Grealish, with Bristol City team-mate Kal Naismith having also talked up that comparison earlier this month.
He told the Open Goal podcast about Scott: “Have a look for this boy, he’s deadly. A few clubs bid for him – he’s played every game for us – he won the Euros (U19s) with England in the summer. Centre mid, little old school, box-to-box. Like a Gerrard kind of (player) – obviously I don’t want to make that comparison, he’s got a long way to go. He’s tall enough, he’s maybe six foot, he can run all day, he’s hard in the tackle, really good on the ball.
“He’s different class, he’s reminding me of when Grealish was in the Champ, he’s obviously more of a centre mid but see that way he takes the ball, lets people get tight to him and then runs away as if they weren’t even there. His past 5-6 games, he’s been tremendous. I can honestly see him going to a top four/five team in the Prem.”
That likeness is further indicated as Grealish is also truly adept at carrying the ball forward, with the former Aston Villa man – who moved to the Etihad Stadium for £100m in 2021 – ranking in the top 1% among those in his position in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive carries.
As Scott will look to emulate, the Three Lions star has succesfully made the transition from life in the second tier to competing for major honours in the Premier League, with the 27-year-old showcasing his class this season with three goals and five assists in 31 games in all competitions.
The Birmingham native has particularly caught the eye with his ability to draw contact and alleviate pressure for his team, having been fouled 2.7 times per match for City this season, while Scott is only just below that figure as he has averaged 2.2 for that same metric.
To be able to snap up a player of such potential would be a further indication of the great strides forward that Newcastle are making at present, with Howe undoubtedly set to relish the opportunity to nurture the Grealish-esque prospect.