Newcastle United could be set to lose one of their rising young stars according to reports today.
Various media claim that Lewis Gibson is on the summer wish lists of Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.
The local lad is from Stanley and has followed older brother Liam into the Newcastle United set-up, though neither have appeared for the first team as yet.
Sibling Liam Gibson, who is also at Newcastle, turns 20 next month (April 2017) managed one Premier League appearance on the bench 13 months ago, when Steve McClaren had a number of defenders out through injury.
Younger brother Lewis (will turn 17 in July) has been making a name for himself with his form for Newcastle United’s academy team and also for his country, the left-back scoring the winner for the England Under 17s this week against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The youth set-up at Newcastle has been a massive disappointment down the years and it can’t all have been down to the quality of player at their disposal.
Fans have long expressed concern at the level of coaching below first team level and the inability to develop players, to improve them to a level where they can compete for the first team.
This hasn’t been helped by managers such as Alan Pardew, who failed to give real opportunities to younger players, tending only to give them games in the cup competitions which he and Mike Ashley were so keen to get out of at the earliest opportunity.
Rafa Benitez has been landed with an entire club to sort out from top to bottom and years and years of neglect were never going to be sorted overnight.
So you can sympathise with him going almost entirely for experienced players in this vital quest for Premier League football at the earliest opportunity.
The fact remains though that young players at Newcastle will still see little chance of progressing, with once again only the cup matches having a few younger players given the odd game, in matches which Rafa clearly saw as an unnecessary distraction to the league campaign.
Lewis Gibson sees his older brother turn 20 in April without getting any kind of a chance and when you see 18 year olds at clubs like Everton getting a run of games, it emphasises how badly Newcastle have failed over the years.
The last home game against Fulham saw 16 year old Ryan Sessegnon take Vurnon Anita and Newcastle to the cleaners with two excellent goals and an excellent performance.
Rafa can’t let himself be distracted from the job in hand but if Newcastle are to convince the Lewis Gibsons that their future is at Newcastle United, then hopefully we will see youth given its chance in the coming seasons.
Rolando Aarons made one start before getting injured but even he is 21 now, whilst Isaac Hayden is the only youngish player to really get a run of games this season and he has now turned 22.