Newcastle’s failure to land Lingard and Ekitike hands 18-year-old his chance

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Football often works in mysterious ways, and one man’s bad luck can often turn into the chance of a lifetime for another.

It’s then down to the players concerned to take full advantage of the chances that they’ve been given.

In Newcastle’s case, Eddie Howe wasn’t able to land a couple of targets in the January window, and that has opened up opportunities to other players already in situ at St. James’ Park to impress the manager.

Jesse Lingard and Hugo Ekitike were the two players that Howe would’ve liked to have brought in, but the North East giants just couldn’t get a deal over the line.

That’s allowed Howe and his staff to take more of a look at Newcastle’s 18-year-old striker, Michael Ndiweni.

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The youngster has already scored a dozen goals for the Magpies under-18 side, and has been training with the first team according to Chronicle Live, after Howe and his staff watched the youth team knock Colchester United out of the FA Youth Cup.

What Howe’s willingness to blood the youngsters shows is that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

It will offer encouragement to other prospects in the club’s academy to believe that there is a genuine pathway to the senior side at the moment, and before the club really flex their muscles in the upcoming transfer windows.

That in turn should energise the Toon Army. For far too long now, the other areas of the club have been neglected, and if Howe can integrate them all together that may even be his biggest legacy on Tyneside.

More Stories Eddie Howe Hugo Ekitike Jesse Lingard Michael Ndiweni