Roberts, who has previously been compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by youth coach Peter Beardsley, looks likely to remain on Tyneside, surviving a cull of the club’s young players, with 15 of his U23 teammates set to be released. The only other player to be offered a new deal was striker Luke Charman.
Roberts, who has had previous loan spells with Gateshead and Kilmarnock, making a total of 13 appearances, gave a glimpse of his potential, scoring a free kick in the Premier League International Cup defeat of Sunderland two days ago. This season, he has appeared in nine matches for Newcastle’s development squad, scoring 3 goals and assisting 1.
Newcastle have a fairly dismal track record in recent years for bringing through talent from the youth ranks, with only a solitary first team player, Paul Dummett, having made the grade recently. Despite that, hopes are high for Roberts, and certainly in offering him a new contract, Newcastle are showing that he is expected to have a bright future with the club. For the time being, he will likely follow a similar path to Adam Armstrong, and go out on loan to a club in the EFL next season, to gain vital match experience.