Newcastle United's next generation – FOUR players who could make the step up from the Magpies under-23s

Newcastle’s hammering at Leicester on Sunday has left fans wondering who can step in to boost Steve Bruce’s increasingly threadbare squad.

Saturday, 5th October 2019, 11:45 am
STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kelland Watts of Stevenage in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Stevenage and Northampton Town at The Lamex Stadium on September 17, 2019 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

It seems the United boss – now without Isaac Hayden through suspension as well as the likes of the injured Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie – has all but run out of alternative senior options.

But with United firmly in the Premier League relegation zone, will Bruce be brave enough to look to Newcastle’s U23s for some youthful inspiration?

Here are four players who could conceivably make the step up.

Matty Longstaff

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The 19-year-old midfielder could follow in his brother Sean Longstaff’s footsteps after impressing over the past year for the U23s, and for the first team in pre-season.

Steve Bruce praised Longstaff Jr following his stunning goal against Saint-Étienne in Newcastle’s friendly victory at St. James’ Park.

"We've seen a little bit of him – {he} scored that great goal against Saint-Etienne when he came on. He's impressed me enormously over the last four, five weeks,” said Bruce.

“He's been training with us all the time so I think it could be a good time to give him his debut."

So, with Jonjo Shelvey likely to be out and Hayden suspended against Manchester United this weekend, what price a second Longstaff making his Premier League bow?

Tom Allan

With £40m record signing Joelinton only netting once this season and Andy Carroll still feeling his way back to full fitness, youngster Tom Allan may be in line for a call up.

The 20-year-old has already scored four goals for the U23s and also made an appearance from the bench in the first-team friendly against Wolves in July.

Allan admits he is growing more assured in front of goal after his strong start to the season.

"I try and improve on my finishing as much as I can but I think it's more of a confidence thing,” he said.

“I think last year I was a bit shy of taking shots and this year I've got nothing to lose so it's going well and I hope it carries on.”

Kelland Watts

If Newcastle continue to ship goals at the back, will Bruce turn to Watts - a left-sided centre-back who played for England U19s at the European Championships.

Currently on loan at Stevenage, Watts has featured in nine of their 11 games so far in League Two.

Watts began his Newcastle career as a midfielder before being switched to defence by U23s manager, Ben Dawson.

He also has an eye for goal from set pieces, but there are some at Newcastle who think Watts may even end up as a #10.

Owen Bailey

Bailey has been part of the Academy set up since the age of nine and has captained the U23s for past two seasons.

The centre-back travelled to Asia in pre-season with the first team and featured from the bench in the defeat to Wolves.

The 20-year-old has only featured in two U23 games so far this season due to injury, and has said he would like regular football out on loan when fully fit.

But could his chance of senior come sooner – and closer to home?