According to the Daily Mail, Dan Barlaser has signed a new contract at the club – and been told he’ll be part of the senior set-up at St James’ Park next season.
This comes after the Gateshead-born midfielder’s outstanding loan spell in League One this season, with him playing a key role in Rotherham’s push towards automatic promotion to the Championship and receiving rave reviews along the way.
The same piece even states that ‘sources close to Newcastle who have tracked Barlaser’s progress say he is unrecognisable from the young player who last appeared for the first team in 2017 under Rafa Benitez‘, highlighting just how much he’s transformed during his year away from Tyneside.
As a result, The Mail reveal today that NUFC exercised their option to extend his contract by another year back in March, keeping him at the club until at least 2021.
Not only that, they report he’ll part of Steve Bruce’s first-team plans once he returns from his current spell with Rotherham, suggesting he’ll get a chance to prove himself over pre-season after a wave of ‘glowing reports’ from loan manager Shola Ameobi.
A potential Matty Longstaff replacement? Who knows, but it would be great to see another local lad be given his chance at senior level – especially when it may be now or never for Barlaser at 23.