Sammy Ameobi: A Little Brother with Big Potential for Newcastle

Brian GrammanContributor IIINovember 11, 2012

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25:  Newcastle player Sammy Ameobi in action during the UEFA Europa League Group D match between Newcastle United FC and Club Brugge KV at St James' Park on October 25, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle fans have come to love Shola Ameobi as one of the Magpies' longest-tenured strikers in club history. 

Now he isn't the only member of the family to be excited about. 

Twenty-year-old Sammy Ameobi (11 years Shola's junior) has put on an impressive display in his five appearances for the Toon in their 2012-13 campaign. In limited time on the pitch, Ameobi has already set up the winning goal against West Brom as well as the equalizer in Thursday's Europa League match with Club Brugge. 

After suffering a devastating hamstring injury in January that brought his season to a halt, Ameobi has made up for lost time with his quality play and is drawing some rave reviews, especially from his Mackem-slaying big brother, who told The Shields Gazette:

"I feel, as a player, he’s got everything. He’s still very young, but I can see his qualities. And I know if he really wants it, he can be a superstar at this club. I truly believe that."

There are plenty of things to like about Sammy. He was born and raised in Newcastle and has been with the club his entire football career. He's one of the most friendly and engaging players on the squad and has worked particularly hard to stay fit, having dealt with asthma since he was 11.

He's also made it clear that he wants to someday take over Newcastle's famed No. 9 jersey and become a superstar for the Magpies. 

It's hard not to believe he will continue to perform, not just for Newcastle but also down the road for England (unlike his brother, who was born in Nigeria). He's quick and extremely versatile, succeeding as both a striker and left winger. And as anyone who watched his performance against West Brom can attest to, he's a natural at putting the ball in the right place, intentionally or not.

Whether Sammy can someday surpass his brother's achievements remains to be seen. But with two Ameobis on the pitch at St. James Park, who can hope to contain them?

Certainly not Sunderland.