The exit of our ‘top prospect’ shows just how much work Newcastle have to do

With Lewis Gibson completing a £6m move to Premier League rivals Everton, despite never making a first team appearance for Newcastle. The 17 year old is highly rated and one of the few bright spots to come from our academy in recent years. Is the deal good business for Newcastle or a sobering reminder of just where we now stand following years of underachievement?

Good business or demoralising?

On the face of it, £6m for a teenager who has not even played for the reserves is a big fee. After all, there is certainly no guarantee that Gibson will realise his potential at Everton, or if he had stayed. There are countless examples of players not pushing on and making the big step to first team football, let alone flourishing in the Premier League. It shows the crazy state of the market that such a fee is mooted for someone so young and unproven; though his ‘home-grown status’ will no doubt appeal to the Toffees.

On the flip side, academy players and local ones at that, are the most exciting players to watch breakthrough for fans. Local players of real quality have not been developed enough at Newcastle in the last ten years or so, with Carroll the only one to generate real excitement before he was sold to Liverpool. The purpose of the academy is create players for the first team and selling someone so early is demoralising. That being said, he has not trained for a few months and was pushing for the move. United have done well to get  such a hefty fee but it is clearly concerning a local player and Newcastle fan doesn’t want to stick around, even at 17.

The state of the academy

This brings us nicely onto the wider question of whether our academy is up to scratch. Gibson clearly feels his development is better served at another club. We have only recently had the academy status upgraded to match our Premier League rivals after it was downgraded to category two a few years ago. When Rafa agreed to stay, he raised concerns of the quality of facilities and was shocked at the poor infrastructure of the academy. He sees it as a long term project and we can certainly learn from the likes of Spurs and Southampton in this regard.

An update from the club as to when they finally plan to build the new academy site after years of talking about it would be well timed. The Gibson fee could help with this but you feel with modern football, transfers are more pressing and it will be added to Rafa’s coffers instead. Newcastle need to learn from this episode and improve our academy; that much is clear.

We clearly need to improve to compete with Everton

It is also a stark reminder of how we have sipped down the pecking order. It wasn’t too long ago we were competing with the likes of Everton on and off the pitch. Poor management under Ashley has certainly seen us fall behind. That being said, these clubs now poaching our local players is even more concerning. We need to keep improving and get back into the top 10. Staying in the top flight and keeping the TV money is central to this, so let’s hope Ashley backs Rafa this summer to begin this rebuilding process. I am sure Newcastle fans would love the exciting transfer window Everton fans are currently enjoying.

We need Rafa more than ever

If younger players leave us in our current state, it just underlines just where we would be if we didn’t have Rafa. The ‘Rafa effect’ we all anticipated in attracting big names this summer may not have materialised as we thought it would this summer, or even Rafa himself thought. He remains a big name and top manager and if we had another second rate manager such as McClaren, the future would be bleak. Like any manager though, Rafa needs good players to help him out. Merino looks a good capture from Dortmund, so let’s hope more follow.

What do you think of the Gibson deal and our academy?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

120 thoughts on “The exit of our ‘top prospect’ shows just how much work Newcastle have to do

  1. Oh My, just read a bit of the Chronicle Mackem live feed. Celtic not expected to field strong team with Champions League commitment either side of this game.

    20th Anniversary of SOL celebration.

    Mackems season starts next Friday.

    Get hammered 5-0 at home by Celtic reserves.

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  2. kimtoon:
    Lee Ryder‏Verified account @lee_ryder · 49s49 seconds ago

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    Shelvey having a few heated words with Mainz players at the end. #nufc

    really needs to learn to keep calmer that lad.

    I think he might want to have a few heated words with his own players after the defending of that 2nd goal like ??

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  3. I watched that Spurs 5-1 win from the relegation season last night and it got me wavering on Mitro again. This game was Mitro in a nutshell (nutcase), he had some decent hold up play, scored a great header but scuffed a few shots, then gave the Ref a death stare and 5 minutes later raked his studs down Kyle Walker’ s shin and got sent off. It is obvious why Rafa doesn’t trust him, it is his temperament.

    If we can get 15 million for him I would sell because what is the point of having him if Rafa doesn’t trust him and wont play him? Sell him to Pulis?

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  4. Mark Douglas‏Verified account
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    Outstanding Real winger Vazquez linked w/ #nufc.
    Spanish-based journo Pete Jenson mentioned this on 5Live lst night

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  5. kimtoon:
    Mark Douglas‏Verified account
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    Outstanding Real winger Vazquez linked w/ #nufc.
    Spanish-based journo Pete Jenson mentioned this on 5Live lst night

    Kim – the Spanish conquest carries on then. Was it a buy or loan do you know?.
    Always good to see the recruitment continues, but it’s a forward I want to see coming in.

    I see Niasse from Everton is being mention. He got 5 in 13 for a poor Hull side last season so maybe able to do a job.

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  6. Bloody strange going on’s sky sports news Greece heading news report that toon are going to sign the Benfica player,yet our great local reporter Eric mate Ryder said y/day the deal Is not going to happen??

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  7. Icedog:
    Bloody strange going on’s sky sports news Greece heading news report that toon are going to sign the Benfica player,yet our great local reporter Eric mate Ryder said y/day the deal Is not going to happen??

    Ice – didn’t Rafa say he was pleased the media didn’t get wind of the Merino deal?.
    Could it be that there is someone at the club deliberately feeding the media duff info to allow them to just get on with deals they want?.

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  8. Sharpy17: Kim – the Spanish conquest carries on then.Was it a buy or loan do you know?.
    Always good to see the recruitment continues, but it’s a forward I want to see coming in.

    I see Niasse from Everton is being mention.He got 5 in 13 for a poor Hull side last season so maybe able to do a job.

    not sure mate only saw this tweet like

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  9. Apparently Mitro was bickering with De Jong at the end of the match, well according to Ryder he was.

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  10. Sharpy17: Ice – didn’t Rafa say he was pleased the media didn’t get wind of the Merino deal?.
    Could it be that there is someone at the club deliberately feeding the media duff info to allow them to just get on with deals they want?.

    Well I hope it’s Aalen then mate

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  11. Wonder of wonders, Ryder actually seems to have learnt 5 things for once that are not drivel and make sense. It seems that he, or Chron colleagues were able to talk to some NUFC staff. Said Mitro is living on borrowed time (I had already come to this conclusion before, it seemed obvious that he was getting one last chance). Also, that we will probably start the season with the goalies we have. Makes perfect sense as why spend a significant part of the budget in an area that is OK unless you get a nailed on number 1 and they will cost 15 million plus. I think Elliot is a good ‘keeper and Darlow is an OK backup, certainly NOT worth getting rid of for 5 or 6 million as we would only get a like for like swap at best in this market.

    So, well done Lee. It seems you and the other Chronics were not just in Germany to hang out in the beer garden.

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  12. So if Mbemba goes, who is our 4th CB for the season? Will Findlay get an opportunity? Would be good to see 1 or 2 of our youths get bedded in a bit.

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  13. Or is Merino here primarily as a CB?

    1) Elliott
    2) Darlow
    3) Woodman

    4) Dummett
    5) Manquillo
    6) Clarke
    7) Lascelles
    8) Merino
    9) Lejune
    10) Yedlin
    11) Gamez

    12) Atsu
    13) Aarons
    14) Hayden
    15)*Samaris*
    16) Shelvey
    17) Diame
    18) Ritchie
    19) Murphy

    20) Perez
    21) De Jong

    22) Gayle
    23)*New striker*

    24)*Vasquez/New winger
    25)*New AM/striker (cant rely on De Jong’s fitness or Perez’ form).

    Gone:
    Mbemba, Krul, Hanley, Lazaar, Haidara, Colback, Riviere, Saivet, Mitrovic.

    So 9 out and 4 in.

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  14. Looks about right Shamrock, although I would keep MBemba for another year. Watching friendly and Man City are taking Spurs apart. Only 20 mins gone but I will update later.

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  15. SHAM looks like Rivière is going to sit on his fat contract on his fat ass and is going nowhere,he’s knocked back any moves

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  16. We can add Sterry as an U23 to the squad right, and have 26? More cover at right back and he should be recovered from his injury.

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  17. Icedog:
    SHAM looks like Rivière is going to sit on his fat contract on his fat ass and is going nowhere,he’s knocked back any moves

    If Metz want him I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a loan with us paying part of his wages. A couple of weeks in the U23s and fines if he doesn’t train might sort his head out. A move back to France should appeal but I am sure it is about wages.

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  18. Yeah I think so Eric. Would like to see the reserve youths called up a bit more often. I would keep Mbemba too but it looks ominous for him imo. Merino played CB today and Mbemba waves to the crowd as if saying goodbye. Who knows…

    Ice, Riviere will be sent off on loan with part of his wage covered I reckon. Unless we take a transfer fee and agree to make his wages up for the rest of his original contract length with us.

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  19. half time and Citeh have annihilated Spurs. All they have missed is a bit of sharpness in front of goal. They have Aguero though who has not been on the field and is their best finisher. If Pep can fit him in I think Man City will win the PL.

    Spurs are in trouble because their home games are at Wembley and they hated that last year in Europe. I think they will drop to 6th, maybe even 7th behind Everton.

    Doesn’t mean to say we will win our opener. We need another striker and they are a settled team, which we are not.

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  20. Nasri is on. I forgot about him. He would be a great loan move. He has his fitness issues so I wouldn’t buy him flat out. He won’t get a game in this City team so we should make a move.

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  21. Im not convinced by the Nasri idea. He would demand to be an auto starter (on pure ability I’d agree, but there is graft, fitness and attitude to consider as well) and would disrupt the team work ethic that Rafa is trying to build.

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  22. Merino playing at CB yesterday, was that just checking out his versatility or where he’s thinking of playing him ? If he see’s him at CB then we definitely need another MF more than ever.

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  23. Kimtoon:
    Merino playing at CB yesterday, was that just checking out his versatility or where he’s thinking of playing him ? If he see’s him at CB then we definitely need another MF more than ever.

    We only had 3 fit centre backs that will start the season. Lascelles is injured and Hanley is on his way out. Maybe Rafa sees Merino as a backup CB but I don’t think he wanted to have anyone play the full game so it was Merino or nobody yesterday.

    It says to me that we still need MBemba because we need 4 CBs, especially with Lascelles coming off that hernia operation. It would be crazy to sell him at this point. I think that is also why Mitro is most likely to go because he is the one that would bring in most money.

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  24. Finally Lucas Perez’s name has popped up. In the way of decent strikers he’s about all we can afford. Another Spaniard in?

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  25. Haidara off to St Etienne by looks of it. On a free with a 50% sell on fee. Doubt he is a big earner so not going to change our budget much.

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  26. Haidara wasn’t an expensive buy if I recall so we wouldn’t ever get much for him anyway. Looked a tidy player at the start and then there was THAT tackle of course.

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  27. Spurs have bid 50mil plus Siko for Ross Barkley,Everton are holding out for just the 50 mil 😆 😆

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  28. I think the hairdryer deal makes sense really. Cut your losses & create that squad space.

    I would love to see Lucas Perez at the toon. I think he’s way better than the chances he’s had at Arsenal – and he’s clearly not in Wengers plans. I don’t know what his wages are like, and that could be the sticky point.

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  29. shamrock:
    Or is Merino here primarily as a CB?

    1) Elliott
    2) Darlow
    3) Woodman

    4) Dummett
    5) Manquillo
    6) Clarke
    7) Lascelles
    8) Merino
    9) Lejune
    10) Yedlin
    11) Gamez

    12) Atsu
    13) Aarons
    14) Hayden
    15)*Samaris*
    16) Shelvey
    17) Diame
    18) Ritchie
    19) Murphy

    20) Perez
    21) De Jong

    22) Gayle
    23)*New striker*

    24)*Vasquez/New winger
    25)*New AM/striker (cant rely on De Jong’s fitness or Perez’ form).

    Gone:
    Mbemba, Krul, Hanley, Lazaar, Haidara, Colback, Riviere, Saivet, Mitrovic.

    So 9 out and 4 in.

    Sham – I’d probably go with that but I’d swap Gamez and keep Mbemba personally. He can cover RB but would also work well in a 3 CB formation.

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  30. Perez might prefer a return to Spain but for sure the wages here would be higher.
    Depends on ambition I suppose or he might be a Rafa fan.

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  31. georgio:
    Perez might prefer a return to Spain but for sure the wages here would be higher.
    Depends on ambition I suppose or he might be a Rafa fan.

    Georgio – to be fair he’s been offered a contract longer than Pardews back in Spain hasn’t he?!

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  32. Samaris left out of Benfica last two games,anything in it,would much prefer Aalen younger player better lge

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  33. Icedog:
    Spurs have bid 50mil plus Siko for Ross Barkley,Everton are holding out for just the 50 mil

    Levy is a cheeky ****er mind, he knows Sissoko turned down a move to Everton for Spuds from Toon.

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  34. Telegraph Football‏Verified account
    @TeleFootball

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    Drunk Darron Gibson filmed slamming ‘s***’ Sunderland – @LukeEdwardsTele

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  35. Kimtoon:
    Telegraph Football‏Verified account
    @TeleFootball

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    Drunk Darron Gibson filmed slamming ‘s***’ Sunderland – @LukeEdwardsTele

    Drunk or sober he’s right

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  36. Just watched the clip and he’s hanging like. It does make you wonder what the hell goes through these players minds like.

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