Newcastle confirmed Steve Bruce’s successor as they officially unveiled Eddie Howe as the club’s new manager earlier this week.
The 43-year-old has taken over with immediate effect and will be in the dugout when the Magpies face Brentford in the Premier League on the other side of the international break.
He inherits a side 19th in the division and without a win in 11 games and could face a difficult settling in period as Newcastle attempt to close the gap between themselves and the rest of the teams outside of the relegation zone.
One thing Howe could do to turn things around is place an emphasis on young players before he has the chance to make his own signings in the January window. The Magpies have some talented youngsters in their academy and he could potentially find Callum Wilson 2.0 in striker Dylan Stephenson.
Not only has Wilson been a terrific player for Newcastle in the past 18 months, but he was also a key figure for Howe on the south coast over a number of years. He played 187 matches for the head coach for the Cherries, scoring 67 goals and providing 31 assists in all competitions. The centre-forward then signed for the Toon Army in 2020 and has since scored 16 goals in 30 starts in the top-flight.
In Stephenson, Howe could find Wilson 2.0 as he has shown excellent promise in the academy side this calendar year. Back in April of this year, Magpies youth coach Neil Winskill claimed that the youngster is ‘always top of the charts’ for physical data. He told the club’s official website:
“I’m thrilled for Dylan because he is such an honest, hard-working lad. He’s the type of player any team would like to have in their XI, who’s going to really put a shift in for you.
“Every game and training session, the physical stats come through and he’s always top of the charts but we had a chat during the week about the need for him to be consistent with his quality, and he spoke to me about how he thinks people will judge him on goals.”
This suggests that the 18-year-old gem has the physical capabilities to make the step up to senior level. Winskell’s comments indicate that he would not struggle with the intensity of the Premier League and the running demands that would be placed on him in Howe’s team, which is a promising sign for his chances of making the grade.
In terms of his football ability, he has caught the eye recently. He has averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.77 in the EFL Trophy, scoring once and providing one assist in three games for the Magpies against first-team Football League outfits.
In the Premier League 2, he has scored seven goals in 10 matches for the U23 side. This shows that he already has the maturity and ability to score regularly at youth level, which is why, along with his physical attributes, he could have the potential to come into the first team and make an impact. It is now down to Howe to unleash him and craft him into Wilson 2.0.