Newcastle United have sealed 'club record' transfer for 19-year-old who looks the 'real deal'

Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Lewis Hall is beginning to justify why Newcastle United were willing to break their transfer record for a teenager.

During a week where Lewis Hall opened up his early struggles at Newcastle United, it seems befitting that his performance at Manchester United felt like a real coming of age.

After breaking into Chelsea’s first-team - albeit a very poor one - last season, Hall’s arrival on Tyneside was greeted with plenty of promise. But starting just four games in his opening six months, the jury quickly split in two. Either Eddie Howe was at fault for not playing him, or 19-year-old simply wasn’t ready.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With an obligatory £28million price tag to pay at the end of the campaign, it wasn’t a situation anyone envisaged. Well, not those outside the Benton walls anyway. But those concerns have debunked in recent weeks with Hall ending the season as one of Newcastle’s shining lights.

Lewis Hall of Newcastle United scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on May 15, 2024 in Manchester, England. Lewis Hall of Newcastle United scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on May 15, 2024 in Manchester, England.
Lewis Hall of Newcastle United scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on May 15, 2024 in Manchester, England.

United’s campaign was on a knife edge when they trailed 3-1 at home to West Ham United on March 30 but the introduction of Hall off the bench helped sparked a dramatic 4-3 comeback. Since then, Howe’s men have gone from mid-table to re-entering the European qualification picture, and Hall has gone from an enigma to looking like real deal.

“Looking back on it (time out the team), it’s made me a lot stronger mentally than before,” Hall candidly revealed this week. “When I first came, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure I was myself when on the pitch. 

“I wasn’t at the level I could’ve been at in training. That comes from travelling so far from home and living on your own. It was difficult. As training went on, I started to show signs of improvement. The gaffer and all the coaches were helping me. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“After a few months, I felt like I was developing a rhythm in training and then it was (the case of) patiently waiting for my opportunity. It’s (Howe training) incredibly difficult - a lot harder than I thought it would be. Tactically and technically, you have to be superb and know exactly what he (Howe) wants you to do. 

“It took me a while to adapt but I’m grateful for everything now. There’s a potential price tag at the end of the season. With me not playing, I could understand why fans, naturally, wondered what was going on. But for me, I’ve left that down to people behind the scenes. I want to help the team in whatever way I can.”

Howe did often call for patience when it came to Hall, and the England under-20s international is now reaping the rewards from his work behind the scenes. Starting six of United’s last eight matches, Hall has began to showcase why Newcastle were willing to stump up a club-record transfer fee for a teenager, smashing the £8.5m fee paid to Sporting CP for Hugo Viana back in 2002.

And there is perhaps no better game than Man United to sum up his qualities and development. A sweet left foot, typified by his long distance strike to beat Andre Onana at the Stretford End, and an impressive engine. Just moments after scoring, Hall displayed the desire to sprint back and stop a certain goal in the final minute.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Had Hall’s struggles continued into the summer then it might have been argued that Newcastle needed a left-back. But the boyhood Toon fan is changing perception and is living up to the promise that will hopefully make him the club’s first choice left-back for years and years to come.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.