It was 10 weeks ago at the beginning of May when news came that Everton intended to take away arguably Newcastle’s most promising young player, Lewis Gibson.

Back then, it was reported (see below) that:

‘Ronald Koeman and his Director of Football Steve Walsh are looking at an ‘aggressive recruitment drive of players aged 16-18’ this summer and that Newcastle United’s Lewis Gibson ‘is a central part of his plans’.’

Today (Friday 14 July) sees reports from Merseyside and The Mail, claiming that a deal is now going through and Lewis Gibson will be an Everton player by the end of the weekend.

If indeed the player does move, then Newcastle would be entitled to compensation but that would be a pittance compared to what Gibson could be worth if fulfilling his potential.

The Geordie defender turns 17 on Wednesday and it would be a hammer blow to both Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United’s hopes of belatedly getting the youth set-up operating in the best way possible.

You have to say though, that looking at it as a neutral based on this summer so far, which club offers a more ambitious outlook?

Everton are making massive strides in the transfer market and taking risks (as any ambitious club has to) on any number of signings, whilst Newcastle appear to be drifting towards the Premier League with any transfer at whatever level, looking so difficult.

Even the deal that took the relatively unknown Florian Lejeune from Spanish minnows SD Eibar took some six weeks and that was despite there being a £8.7m buyout clause and no other clubs in for the defender.

Let’s hope the Lewis Gibson story proved unfounded and Newcastle start making strides forward themselves, at all levels of the club.

The Mag – 3 May 2017:

The news from Merseyside is that Everton have made one of Newcastle’s rising young stars a top priority summer signing.

As well as major investment in established older players, the Toffees are also looking to further strengthen with younger players.

Their youth set-up has an outstanding record and Everton repeatedly give promising youngsters first team football at a young age.

Tom Davies was 17 when first playing Premier League football and still only 18, has made 21 PL appearances this season. Numerous others such as Mason Holegate and Ademola Lookman have been given first team football before reaching the age of 20.

The Liverpool Echo say that Ronald Koeman and his Director of Football Steve Walsh are looking at an ‘aggressive recruitment drive of players aged 16-18’ this summer and that Newcastle United’s Lewis Gibson ‘is a central part of his plans’.

Already getting rave reviews at Newcastle under first team level, Lewis Gibson turns 17 in July and has also been making waves in the England set-up.

He is currently away with the national side as England compete in the Under 17s European Championship Finals in Croatia, with group games against Holland, Ukraine and Norway starting tomorrow (Thursday).

Last month saw widespread reports that a number of clubs including Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs are also looking to bid for Lewis Gibson this summer.

March saw the young Newcastle defender score his first goal for England, the winner against Bosnia & Herzegovina in the final qualifying match for these European Championship Finals. He also played in the outstanding 8-1 win over Germany last year for the Young Lions.

The left-footed 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.

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 season’s 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 home game against Fulham saw 16 year old Ryan Sessegnon take Vurnon Anita and Newcastle to the cleaners with two excellent goals and a superb overall 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.

To lose such a promising player would be a body blow for Rafa Benitez but hopefully the likes of Lewis Gibson will be convinced that at last things are changing for the better at St James Park.

  • Andy Mac

    WTF are we selling young talent to Everton ?

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      We’re not, we’re trying to give him a new contract

  • Leicester Mag

    Can hardly blame him but yet another sign of the failure of the club. We can buy shjte from across the globe but can’t develop a single local lad from our system. Perhaps the happy clappers would like a go at picking the positives out of this?

    • Wor Lass

      OK – how about … the fat c*nt won`t be making any money out of him?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Even the kids are doing a runner, What a mess

  • Peaco

    embarrassing – how has it come to this?

    • Leicester Mag

      Take an academy fail to invest in it / lose top status (the only ‘top’ club to do so) / fail to employ specialist coaches / due to a [email protected] first team packed full of foreign mercenaries have no chance to give youngsters a game / loan out – repeat cycle (again and again) decide at 25 no longer ‘promising’ let go. watch us lose Woodman as well.

  • Tony Mann

    Nothing has changed for years (decades) – young Northern talent has been spotted, signed and developed by other clubs to far superior levels than they will get here. Its just another indictment of the small minded attitude / mentality of the Toon hierarchy.
    This is not a new thing so we can’t just blame the fat c*nt for this.

  • Munich Mag

    obviously if the lad is out of contract he is free to do what he wants. Who would hang around at the toon when he can move to a dynamic club who are striving to make a move to be among the top 6 ?

  • Mrkgw

    If this happens then what a very sad state of things at our club. If we can’t convince our own to stay then what hope do we have?

  • HarryHype59

    I can’t blame this lad if he moves to Everton! Newcastle’s record at developing young players is woeful.

  • Jamie Smith

    This is the worst thing I’ve heard this summer, coming from a worrying fog of nothing.
    If a young lad brought up round here is ready to jack in the chance of pulling on the black and white stripes, which he surely would in a year or two, then the club is dead on its feet.
    Everton are suddenly emerging as a force and fair play to them. The irony of this is that Gibson will find his path to the first team blocked by an expensive French/Italian full back whereas he’d have been able to establish himself in the patchy Newcastle team.

    • 1957

      He possibly has looked at the case of his brother an attacking full back who has always looked a good prospect, but never got a sniff at a first team place and is now 20. It’s been said elsewhere but he probably has more chance of progressing under Koeman than if he stayed at Newcastle

  • MadMag83

    Koeman has a track record of giving youth a chance so you can understand why he would be tempted. If he stays at Newcastle he’s waiting on a succession of injuries to first team players before he gets a chance.

    That said the likes of Chelsea and Man City went on youth recruitment drives and a lot of young players found their careers halted. I hope he stays and gets an opportunity to impress, this club needs local lads who know what it means to play for Newcastle.

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    So sad Ashley missed out…. (Not).
    Good luck Lewis you deserve it and to be away from the shambolic mess of our club!!! You will be a star, hope one day you’ll teturn a superstar?!

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Wow, what an attitude.

      • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

        As opinionated as you Mr Fleckman….

  • hetonmag

    Find this story hard to believe bearing in mind Rafa doesn’t care too much about the other half of Merseyside.

  • Down Under Mag

    While disappointing to see a promising young player heading elsewhere, I can’t wish him anything but good luck. We don’t exactly have a great track record of developing players and more=so actually giving them any sort of first team progression – this lad just needs to look at Armstrong to see what lies ahead of him. Everton have an amazing track record of giving young players their chance and have brought through lots of youth over the years…the only question mark lies over their recent splashing of cash on new players and if this will limit youth chances.

    • Whickhamrobbie

      spot on mate. If we dont give young players a chance (like an Everton or Soton ) then they will leave only to be replaced by overseas players with doubtfull expectations of success .
      Everton look to be on an upward curve at the moment so why not join them .

    • TheFatController

      good players will come through no matter what. What has the club done wrong with Armstrong? Carroll played regularly, Sammi did also, Dummett plays plenty.

      Opportunity is given, if you’re good enough you get £35m bids if not you get loaned to Bolton.

      Armstrong plays in the first team squad when not on loan. Why would Lewis Gibson look at that and not think he could be part of first team?

      Aarons has played when not injured. perez wasn’t held back. Engage a young squad generally due to the buy under 25 policy.

      We’re poor generally is why we have fee youth players, but it’s not hat they don’t get their chance. Armstrong was judged good enough for the bench at Barnsley – how is that our youth policy’s fault?

  • Mayor Vaughn


  • GToon

    At the end of the season we appeared to be looking for a new left back. So we can’t even keep hold of a young lad who could maybe play there this season. Great.

  • Danimal

    I remember our old friend David Moyes, after we’d beaten Everton 6-2, making optimistic noises about his club maybe one day aspiring to be on our level. After ten years of their people running their club their way and our people running our club a different way (into the ground) we are now on different planets. I’m sure Bobbi will be along shortly to explain why our way is so much better and what these far more successful clubs with smaller income and support (e.g. Everton, Southampton, Stoke, Palace, Bournemouth) are doing wrong. Meanwhile, we mere mortals are again left disappointed at our club’s total lack of ambition and yet another season or more back in the Championship.