22-year-old Newcastle man is a 'real talent', says Liverpool hero

Michael Owen

Michael Owen believes Sammy Ameobi can become one of the best players in the Premier League.

Ameobi netted the first league goal of his Newcastle career on Sunday, when he came on as a half-time substitute against Tottenham - and scored within ten seconds of entering the field of play.

The younger brother of Magpies legend Shola Ameobi, the 22-year-old forward has spent a short spell on loan with Championship side Middlesbrough in 2013, scoring on his debut, although he has managed to make just 33 professional league appearances despite making his debut for Newcastle over five years ago.

However, with manager Alan Pardew looking towards the youth of St James’ Park with the club in turmoil through injury, Ameobi has once again been promoted to the first-team set-up - alongside Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong and Paul Dummett - and he impressed in both the victory against Spurs, as well as the 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium over Manchester City in the League Cup.

And one man who has been impressed with Ameobi is Michael Owen, who spent four injury plagued years at St James’ Park between 2005 and 2009. Owen, who played alongside the older Ameobi brother, believes that self-belief is all that the former England Under-21 international needs to become a truly great player.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Ameobi said: “I have watched Sammy quite a bit over the years and there are times I’ve thought ‘wow” after he’s done something that few other players can.

“He can run with the ball at his feet as fast as without, he has skill and is good for a goal as he showed on Sunday. There is something there.

“Right now, he’s a tidy player, however, Sammy has it in him to go onto the next level. Who knows what will happen but he’s a real talent.

“What he needs is belief in himself, maybe for the fans to sing about him. It’s amazing what that can do for your confidence and what confidence can do for any player.

“Sammy is definitely classy. As I said, he does produce moments that not many others can.”

Ameobi will be looking to continue his run of form with a start in the Magpies’ Premier League fixture with Liverpool on Saturday, where a win will take Pardew’s men into the top half of the table - just one point behind their Merseyside opponents.

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