Newcastle United have had a tough start to the season, taking just one point from their opening three games. Rafa Benitez will be plotting how to turn things around at the North-East outfit.
After doing an excellent job last season, delivering a top-half finish for the Magpies, there is perhaps an unfair expectation on the Spanish managers shoulders in this campaign. It is no secret that Mike Ashley does not give his manager the kind of money to spend that other managers in the Premier League enjoy. Rafa Benitez has been astute with his budget thus far, with a clever use of the loan-market and free transfers. However, he might need to assess other options to take the St James’ Park outfit forward.
One of those options could be to play some academy products who are showing promise in the youth set-ups. Unearthing the next big thing could be of a huge help to Rafa Benitez, and help him achieve his goal of avoiding relegation this term.
With that in mind, surely he needs to give these two Newcastle United wonderkids a proper chance…
As is shown in the above clip, Cal Roberts has an excellent dribbling ability and also knows where the net is. The 21-year-old winger spent last season on loan in the Scottish Premiership with Kilmarnock. He has the ability to take on, and go past, a defender which could be highly useful against Rafa Benitez, particularly against bottom-half Premier League clubs.
At his age, he will be desperate to get on the pitch and show his manager what he can do. He is something of an unknown quantity, and he would be difficult for Premier League defences to prepare for.
Sean Longstaff surprised everyone last season in League One, in a Blackpool side widely tipped to struggle. The 20-year-old midfielder contributed eight goals for Blackpool from the middle of the park. His goal-scoring prowess from midfield could surely be useful to Rafa Benitez.
He is a quick-thinking and agile player with a good passing range. The attack-minded midfielder would set the Magpies on the attack quickly after a turnover of possession.
The time has surely come to give the 2o-year-old academy product his chance.