‘I’m preparing for’ - Newcastle United prodigy answers Eddie Howe challenge to dispel conspiracy theories

Newcastle United left-back Lewis HallNewcastle United left-back Lewis Hall
Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall | Getty Images
Lewis Hall has shown plenty of promise in the last few weeks to get Newcastle United supporters excited

Lewis Hall is a project. A work-in-progress who, most importantly, can become a star for Newcastle United. However, for most of the campaign, he has proven to be an enigma.

His signing - costing an initial £28million from Chelsea - has been questioned, ridiculed and berated as a mistake. When Dan Ashworth signalled his intention to leave in February, many used Hall’s arrival to discredit him.

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But Eddie Howe had a plan - all it needed was a little patience. In a world where human attention spans are shrinking, time is rarely given.

“In terms of my thinking, I’m preparing for Lewis to be at Newcastle for many years,” Howe said in March, before Hall’s recent turnaround. “He was always brought in with a long-term view, not as a short-term signing. He is a long-term signing.

“We have always believed in him and his quality and we have been working really hard with him on his game. He’s a really talented lad. He’s got a couple of things to continue working on as all the players have. 

“I believe in him. My vision for him is he will be at Newcastle for many years. He's got all the tools. As I have said with Lewis we need patience and calm. But he is developing nicely."

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Hall is now showcasing why Toon chiefs stumped up £28million for a relative novice last summer. The 19-year-old had just 12 senior appearances to his name when he travelled up the A1 to join his father’s boyhood club.

Was he really going to take the Premier League by storm on day one? Only freaks of nature like Wayne Rooney have done so previously.

Fans have been bemused this season when Howe has left Hall on the bench. At times, it has felt as though he did everything possible not to bring him on.

But it all makes sense. Just as he did with Sven Botman and Bruno Guimaraes, Howe is bedding the youngster in. Hall just needs a little longer.

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Newcastle are already reaping the benefits. His performance against Sheffield United was arguably his best yet, with a notable improvement defensively.

Offensively, his talents are evident. The modern-day approach of inverting into midfield with that wand of a left foot can be a weapon for years to come. 

Everyone was rooting for him to find the bottom corner last weekend before Wes Foderingham’s outstretched paw tipped an effort wide. The perception of Hall has improved drastically since Howe outlined his long-term vision for his career - he deserves credit for answering the challenge.

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