Austria call-up for forgotten Newcastle United man hints at comeback despite Gateshead absence

The Newcastle United left-back has been included in Eddie Howe’s squad for Austria.

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Jamal Lewis is in Austria with Newcastle United as he aims to catch the eye of head coach Eddie Howe.

The left-back was among the several players who reported back for pre-season on Friday, July 1 after spending the second half of last term out of the 25-man squad.

Lewis’ omission in January came as a surprise to many, although Howe did cite an ongoing groin issue as the main reason for replacing him with Matt Targett.

As Targett helped United retain their Premier League status and record an 11th place finish, Lewis underwent surgery in Germany on his groin.

The 24-year-old hopes his groin problem is now a thing of the past ahead of a pre-season that could make or break his Newcastle career.

Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis is in Austria with Eddie Howe’s squad. Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis is in Austria with Eddie Howe’s squad.
Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis is in Austria with Eddie Howe’s squad.

NewcastleWorld understands Lewis will get an opportunity to impress Howe in the coming weeks, although the site, admittedly, was left second-guessing itself when the left-back did not feature in the 5-1 win against Gateshead on Saturday.

Howe fielded two different XIs in each half bar Kelland Watts, who played 90 minutes, but Lewis didn’t appear on the teamsheet. Paul Dummett played the opening 45 minutes at left-back before Targett got his run out.

However, Lewis’ inclusion for the trip to Austria does suggest the former Norwich City man will play some part as he attempts to win back a place in Howe’s squad.

Perhaps quite tellingly, Lewis has remained with the first-team group throughout pre-season so far, and that is despite Jeff Hendrick, Dwight Gayle and Ciaran Clark being told to train with the under-23s.

Lewis started four of Howe’s opening six games in charge before a hamstring injury at Liverpool in mid-December ruled him out for a month.

It was another harsh blow for Lewis in what has been a frustrating two years following his £15m switch from Norwich. The left-back has made just 32 appearances in total.

Lewis has three years left on his contract at St James’ Park.