Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is heading for a major howler as some eye-opening news emerges from Darsley Park.
In what has been another difficult Premier League season for the Magpies, one of the big eyebrow raisers of Bruce’s tenure has been the real lack of first-team minutes given to some of the club’s brightest young academy talents.
Barring the Longstaff brothers – even Matty has fallen out of favour this season after his breakthrough Manchester United performance – the Tyneside club haven’t really seen anyone else come through, with Elliot Anderson surely deserving of more opportunities.
And now, some more bad news on the academy front has emerged.
According to Football Insider, fellow Premier League side Spurs have been offered the chance to sign the 16-year-old Bobby Clark, son of former Magpies hero Lee.
The report adds that a Spurs source has revealed “they have been offered the chance in recent weeks via intermediaries to take Clark to London”, and that “the Premier League giants are expected to run the rule over the teenager before making a decision”.
Called up to the club’s U18s side when he was just 14, Clark has long been touted as one of Newcastle’s best academy players, so news that he’s been offered to Spurs is particularly damaging.
What makes it even worse is the claim that the teenager’s “progress has seemingly stalled”, and that the “youngster has struggled for game time this season after being handed a scholarship deal by the north-east giants”.
While Bruce may not be running the club’s academy, he should have a keen eye over what’s going on, and really should have been on top of something like this, well before these suggestions that a promising young player could just leave.
Magpies fans have already made it clear before, when Clark was linked with Spurs a couple of years ago, that they would want him to stay, so fresh news that he could be set for an exit would surely have them fuming at seeing one of their most highly-rated starlets leave.
It would be a real howler from Bruce and the Magpies to see the 16-year-old go without first having seen him make an impression on the first-team at St James’ Park.