Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their team seeking to improve upon their impressive tenth place finish last term.
Rafa Benitez’s men deserve great credit for securing a top half finish upon their return to the English top-flight, having won the Championship title just 12 months earlier. Yet based on their limitations over the course of the campaign, it’s clear that reinforcements will be needed at St James’ Park during the summer window if former Liverpool boss Benitez is to indeed take the club forward this time round.
As such, there are many excited and indeed expectant Magpies supporters in the Tavern at present, several of whom are wondering what young talent at the North East giants could seek to break through in the coming seasons.
And given Jamaal Lascelles’ phenomenal efforts in the heart of their backline, finding another like him will surely be of interest to the club’s hierarchy, and they may already have one in the youth ranks at St James’ Park in the form of 19-year-old sensation Owen Bailey.
Ultimately, 24-year-old Lascelles played as big a part as anyone in keeping the Magpies in the Premier League last season, leading by example in both boxes to score key goals in one and make telling defensive contributions in the other.
And as captain of the North East heavyweights, the pressure is very much on the centre back to perform and show genuine leadership qualities – all of which have already been demonstrated by 19-year-old Bailey in his youth career so far.
The defender began his footballing career at Newcastle at the age of seven and has since come up through the youth ranks at the club, turning out regularly for the Under-18s and Under-23s in the last few years.
Significantly though, Bailey has been captain of both youth sides in recent times, most notably the development squad in the final stages of last season to suggest that he is already showing his qualities as a leader in the heart of a backline, much in the same way Lascelles is in the first team.
Add in his versatility in playing as a right back and a defensive midfielder for the Under-23s last term, alongside coming up with three goals for the side, and Bailey seems to be exactly the sort of player one would want in a starting eleven.
Thus, based on his youth career to date, it appears that the 19-year-old sensation could well become Newcastle’s next Lascelles in the coming years.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!