The swift ascension of Lewis Miley, Newcastle’s prodigious talent with a sharp mind | Written by Louise Taylor


Occasionally, a couple of the most talented young players from Newcastle’s academy are offered the opportunity to practice with Eddie Howe’s main team. This serves as both a recognition of their potential and an introduction to the demanding journey of becoming a professional footballer. However, not many of these teenagers are consistently invited back.

Lewis Miley is a unique case. He was just 16 years old and had recently graduated from school when he was called up by Howe last year.

Newcastle’s manager praised Lewis by saying that he seamlessly blended in with the team. The fact that he was able to keep up with the more challenging drills, despite being young, is impressive and a testament to his technical skills.

To provide background information, Newcastle’s talented player Anthony Gordon, who plays for England’s Under-21 team, revealed that it took him several months to fully grasp Howe’s intricate tactical directions. After joining from Everton in January, he admitted that he sometimes struggled to comprehend his specific role on the field.

Howe was impressed by Miley’s intellect and quickly added him to the team for a training trip to Saudi Arabia in December. Miley had been a member of Newcastle’s academy since he was seven years old.

At the same time that Miley was participating in a friendly match against Al-Hilal in Riyadh, Enzo Fernández was contributing to Argentina’s success in Doha by turning on the lights. Despite being six hours away by car, Fernández’s talents as a 21-year-old midfielder were displayed during the previous winter’s World Cup. Following his pivotal role in his country’s victory, Fernández was selected as the top young player of Qatar 2022 before transferring to Chelsea from Benfica for a record-breaking £106.8m the next month.

However, when we look ahead to July in Atlanta, Georgia, we see that Miley outshone Fernández in a friendly match against Chelsea. This is similar to what occurred last Saturday when Mauricio Pochettino’s team lost 4-1 in Tyneside, indicating that Howe made the correct decision in loaning the 17-year-old to a Football League club last summer.

Lewis Miley in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea

During the discussion about his decision, there was no disagreement among the staff. Instead, they made jokes about their uncertainty regarding whether the 6ft 2in, strikingly young-looking prodigy had begun to shave. They all acknowledged that Miley was an impressive individual.

However, just four months ago, it seemed unlikely that he would have many opportunities to play this season. This was right before his team’s trip to North America, when Sandro Tonali joined the team for a record-breaking £55m from Milan. At the time, Miley appeared to be on the sidelines for Howe’s midfield plans, with players like Bruno Guimarães, Sean Longstaff, Joelinton, Joe Willock, and Elliot Anderson ahead of him in the midfield roster.

In addition, although he made his debut in a Carabao Cup victory against Manchester City in September, this player, who currently plays as a No 8 but is expected to transition to a No 6, was diagnosed with glandular fever and did not return to the field until November.

At that point, Tonali had received a 10-month suspension for breaking betting rules, while Anderson, Willock, and Longstaff were all injured. Despite this, Miley confidently stepped into the spotlight.

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As Alexander Isak scored the opening goal against Chelsea, it was evident that a star was born from the cleverly disguised and perfectly executed pass. However, Fernández did not enjoy reuniting with a midfielder who, according to Howe, does not seem, act or play like a 17-year-old.

Following yet another impressive display in Tuesday’s 1-1 game at Parc des Princes, where Miley became the third youngest English player, after Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden, to begin a Champions League match, it is safe to say that Paris Saint-Germain’s team members are in agreement.

It was thrilling to behold Miley displaying a 30-year-old’s nous yet playing with the fearless freedom of a child and Howe’s pride was reinforced by the knowledge that such exceptional talent is leavened by healthy humility and rare emotional maturity.

Miley was raised in a family of four brothers, who were described by his manager as being “exceptionally well-behaved and highly responsible.” They hail from the small town of Stanley in County Durham, a former coal-mining area. Miley’s older and younger brothers, Jamie and Mason, are also part of Newcastle’s teams, playing for the under-21s and under-18s respectively.

As a student at Tanfield School, Lewis dedicated a great deal of time to improving his ball control and first touch while playing for his futsal team, which won the local title in his age group. These skills will likely be demonstrated when he plays his sixth game of the season against Manchester United on Saturday evening.

In regards to Lewis’s future, only time will tell. However, he has already experienced playing at a high level and has handled it all with ease,” Howe commented on Friday. “Despite his young age, he has a mature outlook on life and sports. He is composed, well-mannered, and shows enthusiasm in showcasing his abilities.”


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