Newcastle United could have a golden generation on their hands

Adam Armstrong is one of "four or five" Academy graduates who can progress into Newcastle United's first-team squad, according to John Carver

Newcastle United's Adam Armstrong
Newcastle United's Adam Armstrong

Adam Armstrong is one of "four or five" Academy graduates who can progress into Newcastle United's first-team squad, according to John Carver.

United’s Academy has been the subject of scrutiny since it dipped under the required standard to take Category One status as part of the Premier League’s shake-up of youth football two years ago.

Since Andy Carroll, United have brought through a number of players but none have secured a regular first-team berth.

However, Carver – who was impressed by the way a battling Newcastle went close to the last four of the Youth Cup – feels that there is the talent and ability to unearth a possible new black-and-white golden generation.

With no relegation issues to worry about, Newcastle may use their final nine games of the season to blood some of the young talent bubbling beneath the first-team surface – and Carver offered 17-year-old striker Adam Armstrong a taste of senior action at Craven Cottage.

United also included a number of other younger players in their match day squad on Saturday and the club are understood to have high hopes for Rolando Aarons, Greg Olley and goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who has represented England.

Carver has hinted at more opportunities for them in the coming months, having also revealed they are working closer with the Academy this season.

He said: “We were all there when they lost to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Youth Cup against a top side who had paid a lot of money for their side and had very, very good players – but we had some players who did very well.

“These occasions are very important to pick up experience.

“We have 16-year-olds as our 19th or 20th men and what an experience for them to be involved with Premier League football at Craven Cottage, with a great atmosphere and so many travelling fans.

“Part of it for our young players is being able to play in front of our crowd, which is 52,000.

“That is not easy and not everyone can do that.

“It is nice for them to get a taste of it and it just proves the good work being done in our Academy through Joe Joyce, Dave Watson and Kev Richardson.

“We do have a nucleus of four or five players who have a chance.

“If you get one through a year you’re happy, two you’re delighted. To get four or five who are being nurtured in the right manner by the guys down there, it’s very important.”

United host Crystal Palace on Saturday hoping to eradicate the bitter taste of defeat at Fulham.

Newcastle will welcome back Sammy Ameobi and left-back Davide Santon, who is in contention to replace Paul Dummett.

However, Magpies fans may also see more of the young players Newcastle believe can shoulder black and white hopes in the coming seasons.

Carver added: said: “It’s difficult to say whether they will get on the pitch. I do know Santon is coming back next week and Ameobi as well.”

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