Eddie Howe reveals why he left £28m Newcastle United star out of starting XI v Brighton
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And the Magpies’ head coach opted for Matt Targett over summer signing Hall with the 18-year-old an unused substitute during the 3-1 defeat.
Asked by NewcastleWorld about Hall, Howe said: “Lewis is building his fitness up I’d say so there was no temptation to start him because he has started at zero with us really having not played pre-season. We’re building him up nicely and he’s doing very well.”
Hall was named in United’s matchday for the first time on the South Coast after being left out altogether against Liverpool. Howe said after the 2-1 loss the England under-20s international was “some way short of being match-fit”.
Speaking about the signing of Hall, whose move to Newcastle will become permanent for an initial £28m next summer, Howe says the young defender ‘caught his eye immediately’ during his Premier League debut at St James’ Park last season.
Hall, a boyhood Newcastle fan, played 12 times for Chelsea last term - starting both fixtures against Howe’s men.
“He played against us a couple of times last year and he impressed me for someone so young to come into those situations and perform the way he did,” Howe said. “Preparing for those games, we watched a lot of Chelsea and I think he had just broken in before our first game. He caught my eye immediately.
“I really liked his attitude, how he played the game, his physical and technical attributes, so I think he’s going to be a really good signing for us.”
Howe hinted then that Hall would need time to settle in.
“Short term aim is to develop to us, and what I mean by that is mold his game around what we want him to do and that’ll take a period of time,” he said.
“Ideally with your signings, you try and get them in as early as you can during pre-season and I think we’ve seen the benefits of that with someone like Sandro Tonali, who’s come in and adjusted to our way quite quickly.
“Although there is a lot more to come that period has been very beneficial. Lewis will have to go through a similar period where he totally understands what we need him to do.”