Newcastle United bolstered their squad during the summer transfer window as Dan Ashworth worked hard to improve Eddie Howe’s options for the 2022/23 campaign.
The Magpies sporting director brought in Sven Botman, Alexander Isak, Matt Targett, and Nick Pope on permanent deals, whilst Loris Karius signed a short-term contract shortly after the window slammed shut – arriving on a free transfer.
However, Ashworth was not able to snap up an attacking midfielder or wide player ahead of the season, despite reported interest in both Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and Leicester City’s James Maddison.
The Times recently claimed that the club will go back in for the latter in the January transfer window if the Foxes lower their asking price for the England international, which suggests that a number 10 is still on Howe’s wishlist.
Maddison is a proven Premier League performer who has shown that he can make a huge impact at the top end of the pitch. He has scored three goals and provided one assist in six matches this term, after scoring 12 times and assisting eight in 28 top-flight starts in 2021/22, whilst also completing 65% of his attempted dribbles.
However, Howe could save the club millions by unearthing an alternative to the former Norwich and Coventry playmaker from the Toon academy.
16-year-old attacking midfielder Lewis Miley could be the next star to come out of the St. James’ Park youth set-up and was recently named as one of the best young talents at the club by The Guardian.
The head coach invited the youngster to train with the first-team over the summer and this indicates that the ex-Cherries boss has been impressed by his development at such a young age.
Chronicle editor Aaron Stokes previously dubbed him a “standout performer” at under-18 level and described the youngster as being a “tall, skilful, goalscoring No 10 who could have a huge future”, which shows how much he has caught the eye in the academy.
He was also selected to play for the under-21’s against senior side Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Trophy last month and he put in an impressive display in the middle of the park.
Miley came on as a substitute in the second half and recorded a SofaScore rating of 7.0 despite playing 16 minutes. The young talent created one chance, completed 100% (1/1) of his dribbles, won 100% (2/2) of his individual duels, and made one tackle and one block – as per SofaScore – as he showcased his quality and maturity against a first-team outfit.
Newcastle’s future star has, therefore, shown glimpses of what he could offer to Howe’s team in the future, with his ability to score goals, create chances, and take opposition players on with the ball, which are all qualities that Maddison brings to the table.
The Magpies head coach could now unearth his own version of the Foxes maestro if Miley is able to make the step up to first-team level in the coming years, potentially saving Ashworth from needing to splash out millions on a deal for the 25-year-old.