Young Newcastle winger Alex Gilliead made a quick decision once it got to January.

On loan at Bradford City for the second half of last season and the opening months of this campaign, he has now committed to making it a year and a half at the League One club.

Missing out on promotion last season via the play-offs after finishing fifth, Alex Gilliead and Bradford once again find themselves in fifth place, with an eight point cushion to the seventh placed club.

Last season saw only five league starts and five sub appearances for the winger at Bradford due to injury and yet to really prove himself. However, having started 20 of the 26 League One matches so far and coming off the bench in another four, he is definitely showing upward progression.

Turning 22 next month and with a current contract that runs up to June 2018, it is likely this summer will be make or break on whether Rafa Benitez sees any future for Alex Gilliead at Newcastle, or whether he will be sold.

However, whatever happens, it is clear that he is a player who has benefited by going out on loan to get first team football.

In spells at Luton, Carlisle and Bradford, Gilliead has now made 102 first team appearances, ensuring he will have a career in professional football – whether that is at Newcastle or wherever.

It is down to the player, along with the other young Newcastle stars out on loan, just how high they can aim when they have the benefit of first team football.

Alex Gilliead speaking to the official Bradford City site:

“I feel that being here is the best place for me to be at the moment.

“I am enjoying playing my football, plus working with the gaffer and the lads.

“The fans have also taken to me really well.

“Playing virtually ninety minutes every week is massive for someone like me at my age.

“It is great experience for me.

“I know I still need to improve on a few things but I’m confident I can do that over the course of the next four or five months that I will be here.

“I want to add more goals and assists in my game. I feel that can come about with the more matches I play here and the more minutes I get.

“Last season I suffered a little bit with injury when I came here but this season I’m in the team and I feel like I’ve played a good part so far.”