Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe, speaking after his team’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Wednesday’s Premier League Summer Series friendly game, confirmed to the media members present at his presser that Lewis Miley is “expected to remain” with the Magpies’ first-team through the 2023/24 season, reports Geroge Caulkin of The Athletic.
Miley, the 17-year-old midfield and Academy product of Newcastle, is poised to make his breakthrough into the club’s first-team this season, something that would surprise no one considering he’s already debuted in the EPL and is now coming off a nice outing against Chelsea on American soil.
“The plan has been consistent in my mind,” Howe said. “He will stay with us this season. There’s no thought of sending him on loan.”
According to the coach, Miley is “too young to be exposed to that at the moment,” which in turn will open the door for him to stay within NUFC’s first team next season.
Howe thinks Miley “needs to stay with his family, train with us, and learn and develop around the players we have.” According to the gaffer, Miley “[has not] surprised” him in terms of his levels of play showcased in both games played in the United States, because “I’ve seen it for six months, including at the back end of last season, just how well he was developing and how strong he looked in the group.”
“Physically, it is always the biggest test for someone so young, but you’ve seen him [against Chelsea]—he’s a very, very good athlete, he’s strong and a good size, and he looks like he can handle the environment he’s in. The next step is to push him and develop him, and I’m sure he’ll get minutes this year.”
It’s worth noting that Miley had already made his senior debut for Newcastle in their final match of the previous season, becoming their youngest-ever player in the Premier League.
Newcastle, says Howe, “want to protect him and not expose him too soon, which can have a negative effect.” However, Howe thinks that Miley “has looked ready to be around us and be involved and train with us, and he has for some time now.”
If the coach is to be believed, then you’d have to assume that Miley is definitely going to play some part in Newcastle’s plans for the upcoming season, one that will mark the return of European football to St James’ Park and with that a much more packed schedule.
Addressing the challenges that lie ahead for Miley, Howe thinks that the “biggest challenge” for the youngster will be “to handle the attention and exposure.”
Newcastle have turned into a superclub overnight, it can be said, and what we’ve seen is just the start with the Champions League right around the corner and about to hit the city.
“Miley will have a lot of people in his ear. All those things contribute to how you handle success, and when it comes early, that can be difficult. We’ll try and guide him and educate him as best we can,” Howe finished.