Newcastle have had a number of young talents excel this season.
A fifth straight win - six in all completions having also defeated Manchester City in the League Cup - at home to QPR this weekend could see the North Eastern club move into the top four, and their recent form has been an incredible upturn for Alan Pardew, who was fearing for his job last month.
Injuries and suspensions required Pardew to utilise the entire depth of his squad, and he had to call-up a number of players that would likely have been out of the first-team fold this season. Mehdi Abeid and Sammy Ameobi came in from the reserves and impressed enough to keep their places in the starting XI - with Abeid truly excelling - whilst Rolando Aarons made the step up from academy level and is being touted for international recognition despite his young age - the Jamaican-born winger is just 19-years-old.
However, it is none of the attacking stars that have been impressing Pardew, and his praise was reserved for Paul Dummett, who has been a key figure for the Magpies this season, having progressed into the first-team set-up last term.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Pardew said: “Dummett has certainly been the outstanding performer as a young player, followed closely by Sammy, Arma [Adam Armstrong] and Aarons.”
Having featured 18 times in the Premier League last season, Dummett started the current campaign as first-choice left-back, before moving into the centre of defence for the ties with Man City and West Bromwich Albion - in which he and Fabricio Coloccini helped the club to two clean sheets. His form for the Magpies last term earned him his first senior call-up for the Welsh international team, and the 23-year-old looks to have a bright future in the game.
He will be looking to keep his place in the starting XI this weekend, alongside Steven Taylor or Mike Williamson - with Coloccini out injured - or reverted to his usual left-back position.