Steve Watson reacts as Gateshead sign Newcastle striker on loan
Newcastle United have loaned out Dan Barlaser and Lewis McNall.
Midfielder Barlaser has signed for Crewe Alexandra for the rest of the season, while striker McNall has crossed the Tyne and joined non-league neighbours Gateshead.
Barlaser has made three senior appearances for Newcastle, who played the League Two side in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this season.
McNall, meanwhile, has featured for United at Under-21 level.
And Gateshead manager Steve Watson – who made his Newcastle debut aged 16 – believes the 18-year-old is ready for the opportunity at the National League club.
Watson said: "Lewis is a goalscorer, and we've had spells this season where we've lacked a bit of composure in front of goal, so hopefully he can bring that to the side, because you can never have enough goalscorers in the squad.
"Stepping up to senior football will be a big ask for him, but you never know until you do it, I know I certainly didn't.
"I was thrown-in to senior football at 16, and I could have sunk or swum. Fortunately, I coped OK with it, and, because of that, I'm a big believer in giving youngsters a chance.
"You never know who you can unearth by giving young players a chance at senior football, and if you know where the goal is and you're composed in front of it, then it doesn't matter what level you are at.
"Hopefully, Lewis will be able to cope well with the league and can make a big impact during his time here and kick-on from there."