Arguably one of the more unheralded signings of Newcastle’s summer transfer window, Jamal Lewis is quickly proving what an absolute steal he is.
The Magpies bought him from relegated Norwich for a reported fee of around £15m – rising to £20m with add-ons – and being just 22, it was no surprise to hear Steve Bruce express his excitement at his arrival.
He said: “Jamal is a very exciting prospect. I watched him flourish in the Championship two years ago and he made a real fist of it in the Premier League last season.”
The left-back has already established himself as Newcastle’s first-choice in that position, playing in all four Premier League games, and on Thursday night, he delivered an impressive display for his country Northern Ireland in their European Championship play-off game against Bosnia.
As per SofaScore, the speedster completed both of his attempted dribbles, sent in four crosses, and boasting a pass accuracy of 82%. In a crunch game where Ian Baraclough’s side needed to be defensively disciplined and be a danger going forward, Lewis showcased everything in his locker.
The 22-year-old was a threat whilst with the ball, and he didn’t shirk his defensive duties either, winning four out of his six total duels and blocking one shot, too.
Bruce would no doubt have been watching on, impressed at his summer recruit’s nerveless performance. The fact that reigning Premier League champions Liverpool were initially interested in him earlier in the summer transfer window just goes to show the kind of quality and potential that he has.
If he can replicate the kind of display that he put in for Northern Ireland on Thursday, then he will have proven to be a masterstroke signing from the club’s owners.