Newcastle United defender Curtis Good is a class above second string football, according to Peter Beardsley.
And the Magpies Under-23 coach believes the Australian international could well still have a future at St James’s Park at first-team level.
Good has been one of the stand out performers for the club’s reserves, alongside summer acquisition from Celtic Stuart Findlay.
With just a year left on his current Magpies deal, and having celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday, the time has arrived for Good, who has made just two appearances in five years since arriving from Melbourne in 2012, to step up.
And Beardsley thinks the centre-back can do just that, with Good still very much in manager Rafa Benitez’s thoughts.
“If I take a look at Curtis Good he is on another level at the moment,” said the club hero.
“He got a boost from when he was involved with the first-team and I think that really has given him a massive lift.
“He has been outstanding since then.
“Curtis is in the manager’s thoughts. He obviously trusts him.
“The manager has spoken highly of him. Which is good for him.
“To think of where he was a year ago, with the hip problem, to where he is now, it is great.
“He looks like he should not be on the pitch for us. He looks above this level.”
Injuries have severely hampered Good’s opportunities to stake a claim at first-team level.
Instead it is on loan where he has made most of his senior appearances - with spells at Dundee United and Bradford City under his belt.
Between March 2014 and April 2016 the defender missed more than 670 days with a hip injury suffered while on international duty.
That problem not only ended his loan spell north of the border at Tannadice, where he was earning rave reviews, but also his chances of a place in Australia’s squad for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
But he’s back, fighting fit now and Beardsley is delighted to have him in his ranks.
And from a purely selfish point of view the former England international hopes Good remains with his reserve squad.
When asked whether Good could become a first-team player elsewhere, should that chance not come at United, Beardsley said: “To be fair I don’t make the decisions.
“We are delighted to have him.
“Being selfish I hope he doesn’t go anywhere.
“To be fair to him he is a great example.”