By Will Butcher
Newcastle’s Alex Gilliead is interesting numerous League One clubs after a successful stint at Luton Town, according to a reliable journalist.
The 20-year-old midfielder has spent the first half of the 2016-17 campaign on loan with Luton, and the League Two side are also believed to want to sign the youngster until the end of the season.
Posting on his personal Twitter account, the Evening Chronicle’s Lee Ryder revealed that Gilliead’s loan deal ends on January 7 and that a “whole host” of lower league clubs are keeping tabs on his situation ahead of the transfer window.
Alex Gilliead's loan deal with Luton ends on Jan 7th. Luton want him and #nufc have a host of League One teams also after his services.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) December 29, 2016
Sparkling in Luton’s midfield despite his tender age, emerging star Gilliead has made 19 appearances for the League Two new boys and even scored against West Brom’s Under-23 side in the Checkatrade Trophy this season.
Yet to make his Newcastle debut, Gilliead will be hoping his performances for Luton or any other side will improve his chances of breaking his way into Rafa Benitez’s first team.
With 18 months remaining on his contract, the England Under-20s international has just a short amount of time before his St. James’ Park deal expires and could look to jump ship.
However, it is more likely that he will go out on loan again next month.
Football Insider verdict:
Although a highly-rated prospect, allowing Gilliead to leave on loan once in again January will benefit all parties. The youngster is still progressing and needs first-team football in order to gain the experience and quality that will help him reach his full potential. Newcastle could also gain an advantage from the loan as it would see the youngster potentially improve to the level that could make him a valuable member of the Toon first team. With 18 months remaining on his contract and a first-team opportunity not on the horizon for Gilliead, a loan seems like the only option for the midfielder if he is to impress Benitez.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez is targeting this £10million-rated Championship striker after missing out on Rudy Gestede.