Lee Clark wants to deliver ‘young Andy Carroll’ back to Newcastle after Bury loan spell

Tom Heardman in his Hartlepool United days
Tom Heardman in his Hartlepool United days

Former Newcastle United midfielder Lee Clark believes he can help youngster Tom Heardman develop – after comparing him to Andy Carroll.

Bury boss Clark has signed 21-year-old Heardman on a season-long loan from the Magpies as he aims to get his League One side pushing for a play-off place.

Heardman, who has had loan spells at Gateshead and Hartlepool United in the past, now has the chance to progress his game further by playing regular senior football.

And Clark is delighted to have signed the giant striker after keeping tabs on Heardman for a while.

He said: “Tom is a really good young player that I have been monitoring for around a year now at Newcastle United.

“I’ve seen the progress that he has made and he will be a different type of striker to the ones that we already have here at the club.

“At six feet four, he is a good target man, he has a lot of ability and a good touch on the ball.

“He works hard, works the channels.

“We will be able to feed on his flick-ons and knock downs but he is not just a big guy, he is very athletic and reminds me of a young Andy Carroll.

“These young lads need a chance just like our young lads do and we believe he can add something extra to our group. He has already hit the ground running this week.”

“We also feel that we can help him develop and he can also be an asset for us over the coming season so we are delighted to get him on board with us.”

Since returning from injury, and spending time on loan at Hartlepool United, Heardman has done enough to impress Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez to such an extent that he was rewarded with a new deal that will extend his stay at Newcastle until next summer, after which his loan spell at Bury will be further evaluated.

The Gosforth-born hitman scored eight goals for the Magpies’ Under-23 team last term, but will now have the chance continue his development at Gigg Lane until the end of the League One campaign.

Heardman’s spell on loan at Hartlepool last season was a flop. He played just seven first-team minutes in League Two as a substitue against Luton Town and Crawley, though he did complete a full game in the Checkatrade Trophy against Sunderland Under-23s.

Heardman spent last week with Bury and got a second-half run-out against Sunderland on Friday.