One feature of Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe’s tenure thus far at St James’ Park has been the Englishman’s willingness to turn to the youth ranks, having notably handed promising youngster Elliot Anderson a prominent role in the squad so far this season.
The highly-rated playmaker – who has earned comparisons to club legend Peter Beardsley – has already made nine appearances in all competitions so far this term, including seven substitute appearances as part of the Magpies’ stunning start to the new Premier League campaign.
While the 20-year-old’s only two starts thus far have come in the Carabao Cup, the Scotland youth international looks set to be an asset who is only going to take on a greater role in the years to come, having showcased his talent while on loan at Bristol Rovers last term, providing 13 goal involvements in just 21 outings for the lower-league side.
The hope will be that not only can the Whitley Bay-born gem go from strength to strength in the years to come and truly force his way into Howe’s side, but also that the midfielder’s rise from the youth ranks does not become a mere anomaly, amid the hefty investment in new additions.
One young talent who will likely be hoping to replicate Anderson’s rise to the senior setup is 16-year-old, Lewis Miley, with the teenager having been making waves as a result of his displays in the northeast side’s academy of late.
The exciting asset has been tipped for a “huge future” having been a “standout performer” for the club’s U18 side, in the words of journalist Aaron Stokes, boasting a haul of six goal involvements in 30 games at that age group to date.
While a crack at the first team still appears a long way off – with the Gateshead-born ace having only featured twice for the Tynesiders’ U21 side at present – the indication is that he could be one to keep an eye on moving forward.
That is seemingly the view of U21’s boss Elliott Dickman, with the youth coach lauding the youngster following his display in Monday’s clash with Crystal Palace, stating: “He’s still young within his development, but he’s showed signs of handling the ball and controlling it well. He’s got a real composure to his play, he makes really good decisions.
“He still has a lot of developing to do physically and in other areas which I’m sure will come in time. In general, he’s had a really positive start to his scholarship.
“He’s got to stay hungry and humble, and keep working hard on all areas of his game. I’m sure he’ll do that, because what we’ve seen so far, he’s definitely showed signs of being that person. It’s important that he does it, and we want him to continue to develop on the physical side and in his football.
“He’s spent a lot of time with the under-18s and I think the staff have done a terrific job with him. He’s one of the few who’s had the opportunity to train with the first team, and hopefully he gets more chances to do that.”
As Dickman alluded to, the young forward has already trained with Howe’s senior squad so far this season, having also been awarded the club’s prestigious Jack Hixon award as a recognition for his promising talent.
As has been the case with Anderson, it could be a wise move to ease Miley into action over the coming months and years, although it is a truly exciting prospect to have another sparkling asset waiting in the wings.