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Newcastle block Joe White’s loan extension, keep him with first-team

Good news, I guess?

Gateshead FC v Newcastle United: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Eddie Howe and Newcastle United have decided to keep midfielder Joe White at St James’ Park for the second half of the season, blocking a potential loan move following a stint on loan at Crewe Alexandra. The decision underscores Howe’s intent for White to turn into an important first-team player, especially during the next few months considering the precarious situation fo the Magpie midfield because of injuries.

White, who is nearly 1.90 meters tall, is only 21 years old and still developing as a player but his mere presence on the bench will be welcomed news for injury-ravaged Newcastle. Despite his youth, he is familiar with the first-team environment, having been part of the senior squad preseason training schedule as well as featuring in the team’s tour of Saudi Arabia in December 2022 before going on loan excursions.

The young prospect is set to be available for Newcastle’s upcoming Premier League match against Aston Villa on Tuesday when NUFC visit the Villans. White could have logistically made his debut on Saturday but he is cup-tied having already played for Crewe in the first and second rounds of the FA Cup, rendering him ineligible for the game at Fulham yesterday and in further FA Cup matchups as long as Newcastle keep advancing in the competition this season.

Commenting on the situation and the decision, Howe stated, “Joe will stay with us until the end of the season. It’s where we are light on bodies (in the midfield) so this is a real opportunity to come in and show that he is at the level.”

White’s experience includes previous loans at Hartlepool, Exeter City, and most recently at Crewe. During his time at Crewe, he made 25 appearances in League Two scoring three goals. Last season, White expressed his ambition to emulate the success of Elliot Anderson at the first-team level, someone he’s familiar with and with whom he spent time in the lower-level sides of the Magpies before both separated their paths by going away on different loan deals.

Howe’s decision to retain White, in fact, mimics that made at the start of the 2022/23 season when Elliot Anderson was similarly held back from a loan and kept around the Magpies first-team squad instead of sent away for another season. This strategy indicates a commitment to nurturing young talent within the club, and although Anderson’s development has stalled a bit of late, it’s not because of a lack of opportunities.

Welcome back and good luck, Joe!