In an already dismal season that sees Newcastle locked in an avoidable relegation battle, Callum Wilson’s goals, Miguel Almiron’s improved form and the return of Allan Saint-Maximin have all proven to be small glimmers of hope for the Magpies fans.
Goals can keep you in the top flight, especially with players of that quality. Wilson’s ten goals and five assists in the league has been nothing short of heroic, but with him now nursing another injury, they need to come from elsewhere. Almiron and Saint-Maximin have joined him in the treatment room, too, spelling nothing short of disaster for Steve Bruce’s side with the trio out until April at the earliest.
Three points above the drop zone with 17th-placed Fulham finding form and momentum, the chips are down on Tyneside and some inspiration is needed. With little to lose, it’s time for Bruce to hang his hat on some youth team talent to provide some much-needed feel-good factor around the club and, perhaps, manufacture a miracle in the absence of their star players.
90min has drafted up a list of names that could make be of service to Newcastle.
A Swiss youth international, Toure signed for Newcastle in 2018 and has been bagging goals at academy level ever since.
Now 20, it’s time for him to get a taste of senior football. He’s chipped in with three goals and an assist from 11 Premier League 2 appearances this season and is capable of playing anywhere along the forward line.
Versatile, creative and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, Newcastle must take a punt on him if they aren’t going to loan him out.
21-year-old Tom Allan has already made his senior debut for Newcastle, appearing in the FA Cup in early 2020, but has since not broken through.
He spent the first half of the current season on loan at Accrington Stanley and is now back with the Under-23s, but deserves a chance to stake his claim with the first team considering the injuries to wide men.
At 21, it’s looking like now or never for Allan. Bruce needs an air of fearlessness on the wing, and Allan would provide it.
Vilca only joined Newcastle in October 2020, thus it seems a bit soon to be throwing the 21-year-old Peruvian into a struggling first team, but that is when the best players thrive.
Signing a four-year deal suggests patience and a long-term view, but crisis has hit and throwing him into the first team now – before sending him on loan for next season – might be a clever idea.
Vilca enjoys having the ball at his feet and excels when trying to beat a man with dribbling or finding a key pass; he could actually be key in getting Newcastle’s forwards firing again.
A winger with an eye for goal, Flaherty is a player that Newcastle fans are keen to see given an opportunity, and understandably so.
The 19-year-old can play centrally and out wide, and his seven goals and two assists from 14 Premier League 2 games this season is certainly something to be excited about.
Flaherty joined Newcastle from Arsenal‘s academy and would immediately provide more sting than a Joelinton or Dwight Gayle, having worked tirelessly to find his way into senior football.
Despite impressing in his debut season and scoring a winner against Manchester United, opportunities in the first team have been hard to come by this season for Matty Longstaff.
He opted to stay with the club last summer and has been rewarded with just five Premier League appearances this term. Fans are keen to see what he can do with an extended run in the side, potentially in a more advanced role.
By no means a new or fresh face to the setup, but perhaps an option Bruce would feel more comfortable in using.
Perhaps the most intriguing name of all, Elliot Anderson is the one seemingly on the cusp of the first team and held in high regard by fans of the Magpies.
At just 18, Anderson is lighting up the Under-23s and has managed five goals and one assist from six games this season. Predominantly from central midfield, too.
The teenager has spoken highly of Saint-Maximin and how he has helped him settle into first-team training, meaning there are already fans among the playing staff. Born in North Shields, a local lad with bags of talent is exactly the sort of inspiration Newcastle need in such a difficult patch.