Wonderkid Miley making life look easy on Tyneside
Lewis Miley has a big future at Newcastle.
The 17-year-old made his 11th Premier League start of the season — and 20th in all competitions — in last weekend's 4-4 draw with Luton, providing the assist for Harvey Barnes' equaliser.
And having signed a new long-term contract with the club last month, Miley looks set for a long and successful career on Tyneside.
We take a look at his growing importance for the Magpies ahead of today's clash with Nottingham Forest.
Miley has emerged at Newcastle during a period in which their spending power in the transfer market has never been greater.
Injuries have left Eddie Howe short of options on occasion this season — but the teenager has undoubtedly broken into the team on merit.
He became the youngest player to both register an assist and score a goal for Newcastle in the Premier League towards the end of last year.
And his rapid development has continued in early 2024, with further eye-catching performances in midfield.
While Sandro Tonali's ban was a significant blow for Newcastle, Miley's rise has made up for it.
The youngster is composed in possession — averaging 84.43% passing accuracy — and extremely combative, ranking among the most productive Newcastle players for tackles per 90 minutes (2.26).
More than anything, his full-blooded commitment has endeared him to the St James' Park faithful in recent months.
Not slowing down
There is nothing to suggest Miley is likely to lose his place in Howe's first XI any time soon.
After his new deal was announced, the Magpies boss said: "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.
"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.
"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."
Next big thing
Despite his baby-faced appearance, steeliness and grit have been two key attributes in Miley's star rising this term.
Amid high expectations and some disappointing results, the midfielder has never hidden and often shone.
The boyhood Newcastle fan will hope he can help his team get back on track and return them to the heights of 2022-23 between now and the end of the campaign.
Whatever happens, though, there is no question that Miley has huge potential and is only at the very beginning of what promises to be a glittering career.
As his team-mate Bruno Guimaraes put it: "Lewis Miley is a star — he is massive."