Eddie Howe uses Lewis Miley to set Joe White ‘huge’ Newcastle United challenge

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Eddie Howe has proven he will give Newcastle United youngsters a chance as Joe White aims to follow in Lewis Miley's footsteps

Carpe diem for Lewis Miley came at Borussia Dortmund in November. Plunged into a Champions League clash amid an injury crisis, the Stanley native took his chance and, little over two months later, has secured his family’s future no matter how his Newcastle United career pans out.

The Magpies announced he had signed a “long-term contract” on Monday, just reward for a youngster relishing his new-found responsibility. Few expected Miley to earn anything more than the occasional cameo and cup outing at the start of the campaign.

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Hitting the bar at Stamford Bridge on his Toon debut - just days after turning 17 - gave fans a glimpse of the most talented academy product in years. Proving his worth against Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United and Sunderland since has made him a welcome first-team addition.

When called upon, Miley delivered and, deservedly, is now viewed as a genuine option rather than a youngster thrown in the deep end. Joe Willock, Sandro Tonali and Joelinton may limit his game time when they return but the experience gained in recent months will prove invaluable further down the track.

Eddie Howe led the plaudits once news broke about Miley’s contract extension. The academy, in particular, received praise for delivering after years of underachievement.

"Lewis is an exceptional young talent and has all the attributes to be a huge part of Newcastle United's journey, both now and for many years to come,” Howe told the club’s media channel. "He has already contributed to the team with excellent performances in very challenging circumstances this season and we are very excited about what is to come as he continues to develop his game and grow with us.

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"I'd like to acknowledge the role of the club's academy in Lewis' development. He is a shining example of the club's talent pathway and he can hopefully inspire our younger players to follow in his footsteps."

Howe made it clear that the opportunities for youngsters will be there just days after announcing Joe White’s return. Albeit a few years older than Miley at 21, the attacking midfielder came of age while on loan at Crewe Alexandra.

A tall but technically gifted midfielder, White, like Miley before him, could be given the chance amid the injury crisis. Crewe may be operating several levels below Newcastle in the pyramid but so were Bristol Rovers when Elliot Anderson rose to prominence.

The cogs at Benton are starting to turn, with the academy playing catch-up following 14 years of neglect. And in Howe, the next generation know there is a manager in situ ready to give them a first-team opportunity should they impress at junior level.

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