Newcastle United no doubt have a lot to play for in the remainder of the campaign with Champions League qualification still very much in their grasp, although the Magpies hierarchy are likely to be already plotting ways to strengthen this summer, ahead of another top-four push next season.
For all the desire for immediate success, the recent capture of 22-year-old, Anthony Gordon on a £45m deal from Everton appears to showcase that manager Eddie Howe is also looking to invest for the future, with the Englishman keen to bolster his ranks with promising young talent.
Recent reports have suggested that the Tynesiders could well be about to continue that trend by snapping up another exciting gem, with The Mirror reporting at the end of last month that the northeast side are keeping tabs on Bristol City starlet, Alex Scott.
The report outlined that the 19-year-old playmaker is attracting interest from across the Premier League as a result of his standout displays in the second tier of late, with the St James’ Park outfit ready to ‘enter the race’ to sign the teenager as he ‘fits the profile’ of the type of player that Howe and co are targeting.
The up-and-coming star – who has been branded the ‘Guernsey Grealish‘ due to his likeness to the Manchester City man – was previously the subject of interest from Wolverhampton Wanderers in January, albeit with the Robins’ £25m asking price seemingly putting paid to the move.
That collapse has opened the door for Newcastle to pounce this summer, with the hope being that the youngster can emulate the success of another man to have traded Bristol for the northeast – Andy Cole.
Who could be Newcastle’s next Andy Cole?
Having been plucked from Aston Gate on a £1.75m deal back in March 1993 – after beginning his career on the books at Arsenal – Cole went on to prove an instant hit during his relatively brief stint on Tyneside.
The prolific Englishman set the tone for what was to follow after scoring on debut in a 4-0 win over Notts County, before going on to bag 12 goals in total in the tail end of the 1992/93 campaign to help fire the club back into the top-flight.
That step up was ultimately no problem for the Nottingham-born hotshot as he rifled home 41 goals in all competitions in his first – and only – full season at St James’ Park, with his haul of 34 Premier League goals still the joint-highest tally in a single campaign in the competition’s history – alongside Alan Shearer.
That fine form – which saw the ruthless marksman score nine league goals at the start of the 1994/95 season – subsequently led to Cole being snapped up by rivals Manchester United in January 1995, going on to win a plethora of major honours during his glittering stint at Old Trafford.
Although young Scott operates in a slightly deeper role to that of the now-retired ace, the belief will be that he can prove just as influential if a deal can be agreed in the coming months, with the England U20 international already having shown his class in the Championship this season.
The highly-coveted asset has provided a respectable tally of four assists in his 34 league starts from his playmaking, midfield berth this season, while also showcasing his ability to put in the hard yards defensively as he has averaged 2.2 tackles per game in that time.
It was the teen’s display in the recent FA Cup defeat at home to Man City that truly announced himself to a wider audience, however, having been branded a “top, top talent” by his idol Jack Grealish as a result of his breathtaking performance.
Scott truly ‘didn’t look out of place‘ against Pep Guardiola’s heavyweight outfit – as per Bristol Live’s Richard Forrester – having completed five of his six attempted dribbles on the night, while also recording 11 total duels after showing no signs of nerves against such elite opposition.
That remarkable outing has showcased that, like Cole, the Bristol sensation should be able to comfortably make the step up to the top tier if he is to join Howe’s side in the near future.