Dan Gosling wants to prove he should be in Newcastle’s first team, and Paul Ince thinks he is capable of doing so, writes STUART RAYNER.
Gosling is on loan at Championship side Blackpool until the end of the year. He has impressed enough for manager Ince to draw comparisons – in style if not ability – with his former Manchester United team-mate, Bryan Robson.
The 23-year-old was sent to Bloomfield Road to get much-needed match-fitness after just one Premier League start for the Magpies in more than three years (it also cannot do any harm when the manager’s son, winger Tom, becomes available). Ince thinks Gosling can be an asset to Newcastle when he returns.
“He’ll tell you himself that his time at Newcastle hasn’t been great so far, as he’s not had a lot of game time with his injury problems,” Ince told Blackpool’s official website. “But he’s a young lad who’s got the opportunity to show what he can do. Of course he’s got undoubted ability; he’s a Premier League player.
“Just a few years ago he scored against Manchester United for Everton. He’s a very, very good player potentially but through injuries, which are no fault of his own, he’s kind of lost his way. But he seems happy here, and he wants to prove a point that he can get back into the Premier League and get back into that Newcastle team.”
Gosling signed from Everton while recuperating from a serious knee injury, and has never been able to show his best form. He has only played twice for Blackpool – the first time as a substitute – but Ince is clearly excited by his potential.
Gosling won the Blackpool penalty in Saturday’s win over Wigan Athletic.
“He’s different,” Ince commented. “He can make those forward runs that can win you games, and we saw that on Saturday against Wigan when he won the penalty.
“Sometimes we have a habit of wanting to come to the ball all the time, but he’s the one who can stretch the opposition.
“I know from playing with Bryan Robson – the best midfielder of all time in my opinion – he was so good doing that, making those runs, stretching teams and getting goals.
“I don’t want Dan bombing in the box all the time, I’ve just said to him to make three runs each half and at some stage you’ll get in.
“And that’s what he did on Saturday when he ghosted off the back of one of their players and got us the penalty that won us the game, effectively.”
Gosling showed exciting potential after joining Everton from Plymouth, but has been unable to get onto the pitch consistently enough to fulfil it. Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Adam Armstrong scored twice as England made a winning start to their European Under-17 Championships qualifying campaign.
The 16-year-old, who has scored five in five games for the Magpies’ Under-21s this season, notched twice in a 4-0 win over Armenia.
England play Gibraltar (on Saturday) and Republic of Ireland (Tuesday) as they look to reach the next stage of qualifying.