The Newcastle United supporters love to see a homegrown, local lad come through the club’s academy and make an impact with the first team.
We saw that on Sunday when teenager Matty Longstaff marked his first Premier League start with a terrific winning goal against Manchester United.
However, the fans abhor losing one those talents just as much – especially before he’s made the breakthrough at senior level. Unfortunately that was the case with young centre half Lewis Gibson in 2017.
The Northern Echo reported on Tuesday that Magpies owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley remain furious with the chain of events which led to Gibson walking out on his boyhood club for Premier League rivals Everton.
The irony is that on the same day of the Echo’s report came a story from the Daily Mail stating that the north east giants are looking to bring Gibson back to the club once his Toffees contract expires at the end of the season.
It seems bizarre that the Merseyside club would let Gibson leave for nothing when they saw enough potential in him to pay £6million to sign him in the first place, but if he does opt to leave then Newcastle are positioning themselves to try and engineer a reunion.
Ashley and Charnley are right to be angry about losing one of the club’s brightest young talents at the time, but they only have themselves to blame, and the past could come back to bite them here.
The Mail’s report states that Gibson lodged a complaint against Newcastle’s former Under-23s boss Peter Beardsley, but that the club stuck by the former England international and allowed the teenager to leave as a result.
However, Beardsley has since been sacked in disgrace by the Magpies following further allegations against him. With the club choosing to side with him over Gibson, though, would the youngster really want to return to St James’ Park?
The answer to that question will likely reveal itself in the coming months, but Ashley and Charnley need to look at their own conduct in this situation first and foremost.