Adam Campbell deserves the chance to make an impact in his home colours.
I’ve cheated here and feel no shame about it whatsoever. The 17-year-old Campbell is already a Newcastle player, making intermittent appearances in the squad when Papiss Cisse is unavailable or players are rested.
Choosing exciting prospects to sign in the January window is fine, but when there is genuine talent within the ranks already, it deserves the chance to succeed.
Campbell has been compared to Wayne Rooney and has an incredibly bright future. Blessed with great pace, balance and vision, the boy from North Shields has the potential to become the next Toon hero.
He doesn’t have the height of, say, Andy Carroll, but at 5’9” he has a low centre of gravity that enables him to make quick turns and cut past defenders. His 33-minute hat-trick against Tottenham in the FA Development League showed that he can take the game away from teams very quickly.
Pardew is so far easing him into first-team duties—much as David Moyes did with Rooney—and this is the sensible thing to do. Hype and expectation can damage careers from the outset, so Campbell is getting a good introduction to the Premier League without the pressure that goes with it.
However, Campbell has already shown that he has a great attitude and is unfazed by the big stage, so January might be the time to start giving him more minutes. Not signing a striker in the transfer window would be the ultimate show of faith in Campbell’s ability, as well as having obvious financial implications.
There’s always the danger of him being poached by a bigger club, but that’s not going to go away, regardless of when Campbell makes the transition to regular starter.
If he does well, the fans have another local success to cheer on. The lure of a top-three team will emerge, but Campbell seems grounded enough to make the right decision and not simply be blinded by the money on offer.
If he leaves it will be a shame. However, it's always nice to leave things on a cheerful note. With that in mind, here’s Andy Carroll’s old Bebo account.