Eddie Howe picked out Toon teenager Lucas De Bolle for special praise during his latest press conference earlier today.
The Belgian-born 19-year-old has been named on the bench in four of our last seven Premier League games, having impressed the NUFC boss in first-team training sessions over the past few months.
Howe has described him as “technically excellent” and spoken highly of his ability to play in a number of positions too, being a versatile midfielder who can also operate at centre-back.
De Bolle impressed in the U23s dramatic win over West Brom on Monday night – a game Howe attended at St James’ Park – and recently received a call-up to Scotland’s U21 side.
Here’s what Howe said earlier today when Lee Ryder asked if he’d be prepared throw any of the youngsters into first-team action:
“No, I’d have no hesitation if I felt they were the right selection to win the game.
“Lucas is someone we really like.
“He’s been training with us [the senior squad] for quite a long period of time.
“Very impressed with him technically. I was watching the development game the other night and I thought he was technically excellent.
“He can also play various positions.
“I’d say he has areas to improve, but I really, really do like him and think he has a bright future in the game.”