The possibility of young Newcastle players getting their chance has become a popular one recently.
A shocking start to the season with only three points from the opening 10 games has left Newcastle fans looking for potential alternatives.
The fact that only six goals have been scored has meant that particular focus has been put on the forward positions.
Muto, Rondon, Perez and Joselu have failed to convince so far and 19 year old Elias Sorensen (pictured above) has at the same time made headlines with 12 goals for the NUFC reserve side so far.
Little wonder that supporters have asked the question as to what harm it could do to give him a chance, at least on the bench.
The same to an extent with winger Callum Roberts and central midfielder Sean Longstaff, both 21 year, as we have seen the likes of Atsu, Murphy, Hayden and Ki all struggle when getting chances.
Asked about turning to youth, Rafa Benitez has made clear that he doesn’t see this as an option.
The Newcastle boss feeling that it would be harmful for the first team as there are none of the younger players ready o make that step up, whilst damaging for the young players such as Sorensen as well, if getting exposed too early and failing.
It isn’t the biggest surprise as Rafa Benitez doesn’t have a big track record of giving young players a chance at an early age and at Newcastle, he didn’t even do this in the Championship, almost entirely relying on older players with experience already gained.
As for how good or not the younger players are, clearly Newcastle don’t have any young Rooney/Shearer types where it is a no-brainer to bring them in.
As to whether the likes of Roberts, Sorensen and Longstaff would do any better than what is currently on show, might be another matter.
Personally, I think Sean Longstaff should at least be on the bench having scored nine from midfield when on loan at League One Blackpool last season. I’d far rather see him getting 20 minutes to try and do something, as opposed to the likes of Hayden and Ki.
Rafa Benitez talking to the Chronicle about the chances of young players getting a game, especially striker Elias Sorensen:
“We have been watching him and I had a conversation with (reserves boss) Ben Dawson only yesterday.
“We have spoken about it and everybody wants to see young players coming through into the Academy and into the first team
“When the team is in the Premier League it is more difficult.
“When the team is at the bottom of the Premier League it is even more difficult for them.
“You can put them into a difficult position – do they have the character and personality to go straight into a team that isn’t winning? “It is more difficult for the young players.
“We keep an eye on them and time will tell us when they are ready.
“If we have to give them a chance we will – but now is the time to let them develop, let them get more experience and hopefully the first team will be in a comfortable position and allow us to give more chances (to young players) in the future.
“I have a lot of examples (of players that were given games too soon), some at different teams.
“You don’t do it (take risks with young players), especially when you are in a top side because everybody is expecting you to be the new Alan Shearer.
“When everybody is expecting that you have no chance.
“We have to give confidence to them but also trust the manager because we are watching on them, we’ll be really pleased to be bringing in players from the Academy.
“We want them to play and win in the first team – at this moment it is the time to give them some experience.”