The THREE Newcastle United youngsters that could be given the chance to shine in Steve Bruce's squad
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Steve Bruce is set to name four goalkeepers, so with just 21 outfield players, a few injuries could leave his squad bare.
That could see the United head coach call on youth during points of the campaign – and we take a look at the three likely candidates:
The first young player everyone in and around St James’s Park believes could play a role in the first-team this season is Elliot Anderson.
Anderson was on the fringes of the squad last winter but injury problems struck at the worst possible time and has kept him out of action ever since.
However, once Anderson recovers from injury, it is hoped that he can add a bit of flair and creativity to Newcastle’s attack, playing in the no.10 role or as a second-striker.
There was interest from Championship side Luton Town again this summer, but United felt it was in the player’s best interests to retain his services.
Bruce has admitted that Anderson was in his plans at the back-end of last season before injury struck:
"We understand that he’s making big strides. He’s only 18, the boy, but he’s in and around us. Yeah, he might get a chance before the end of the season. I’ll look at it, and what we’ve got.”
“We’ve got our big players fit at the top of the pitch, of course, in Allan, Callum and Joelinton. He’s got fierce competition.”
As Bruce mentions, Anderson has the likes of Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, the 18 year-old may even face stiff competition from the academy itself.
That’s because teammate Joe White impressed Bruce immensely throughout pre-season, especially during his appearance at Burton Albion.
Speaking after the victory at the Pirelli Stadium Bruce said: “He caught the eye, didn’t he? We brought him up about 18 months ago before Covid, and he quietly impressed us.
“And, all of a sudden, they grow all of a sudden, and find a yard of pace, and look bigger and stronger. And he’s certainly done that.
“Over the last couple of games in particular, I’ve been very, very pleased with what I’ve seen.”
In midfield, Jack Young is another player that impressed in pre-season for the first-team.
Young, 20, is a central midfielder who spent time on loan at Tranmere Rovers last campaign and featured in four of Newcastle’s six pre-season games this summer.
If Newcastle continue with their 5-3-2 formation, there is a great need for depth in midfield and with onky Joe Willock joining as a reinforcement in that area, Bruce may have to turn his attention towards Young should an injury crisis occur.
Newcastle don’t have the greatest of track record (in recent times) of turning promising academy players into first-team regulars, however, there may be one or two gems in the current set up, if given the opportunity.