4 Newcastle Youngsters Who Could See First-Team Action Next Season
As preseason preparations loom, all members of the Newcastle United squad will be doing their utmost to impress Alan Pardew and force their way into the Magpies' first team.
That includes some of the younger faces around the squad, who hope to catch their manager's eye and be given a chance to prove themselves on the biggest stage.
This list looks at four of those fresh faces; all of them have impressed at some point over the last 12 months and could be in line for a promotion to the senior squad.
The reasons why these players have made it into this list are based on personal opinion, first-team experience, successful loan spells and potential.
A few names have narrowly missed the cut, so feel free to suggest more players that could push through from the fringes of the first-team squad.
4. Gael Bigirimana
We start the list with a man who has already tasted life in the Premier League. Gael Bigirimana was thrust into the first team when Alan Pardew's options in midfield were severely short last season—and didn't embarrass himself.
The energetic, box-to-box central midfielder looked comfortable on the ball and full of zest, although he occasionally ran out of steam somewhat toward the end of matches.
He also looked impressive operating in an unfamiliar right midfield position, the area he scored his first goal for Newcastle from.
The 20-yard curler off his weaker foot was a statement from the 19-year-old, who could be set to push the likes of Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye for a regular first-team spot.
3. Sammy Ameobi
A familiar name to the Geordie faithful, Sammy Ameobi is the latest of his family to push for the Magpies' first team.
The 21-year old is poles apart from older brother Shola, though, as he uses his pace and trickery to evade opponents, rather than power and strength.
Ameobi has made 19 first-team appearances for Newcastle so far in his short career, a sign of his rapid improvement from the reserve and youth teams.
Another player who was perhaps used too much over last season's Christmas period, Ameobi knows what it's like to play for the first team and has shown glimpses of his skill and promise. He turned in a stellar performance against Bordeaux in the Europa League, when he skilfully flicked a ball over the top of an opponent before finding Gabriel Obertan for the only goal of the game.
Possibly Ameobi's best chance of breaking into the first team squad at Newcastle comes off the back of a successful loan spell at Middlesbrough, where he scored a stunning goal on his home debut.
His unpredictable and tricky nature make Ameobi a perfect fit for the kind of "impact substitute" role going into next season, and he could prove to be Alan Pardew's ace in the pack in the coming months.
2. Adam Campbell
And now we come to perhaps the most talked-about youngster on Newcastle United's books.
Adam Campbell has built himself a fantastic reputation after a series of impressive performances for Newcastle's reserve and youth teams, culminating in him being a regular part of Alan Pardew's first-team squads toward the end of last season.
Diminutive and lightning quick, the flame-haired 18-year-old has been tipped by many to make a serious push for a bigger part in Pardew's team next season.
Campbell is part of England's Under-20 World Cup squad and could boost his reputation even more with some more encouraging performances there, which will make it hard for Alan Pardew to overlook him when the new season kicks off.
1. Bradden Inman
Topping the list is 21-year-old Australian Bradden Inman.
The goalscoring central midfielder had looked like a regular reserve midfielder ever since joining Newcastle at the age of 14, but a fantastic loan spell at League 1 side Crewe Alexandra has seen him flourish into a genuinely promising talent.
Most similar in terms of playing style to someone like Frank Lampard, Inman likes to make late runs into the box and get himself on the scoresheet, as he proved with five goals in 21 appearances for Crewe.
Also a capable passer and good at dribbling forward from midfield, Inman will look to use his breakthrough season at Crewe as a catalyst for a first-team push in the new season.
Still to make his first-team debut, the closest Inman has came to getting pitch time at Newcastle was on two occasions where he was an unused substitute in 2009.
If he carries on the kind of form he showed last season, that could be set to change quickly.