Injuries and suspensions have reduced Newcastle’s senior squad to the bare bones, with youth players making up the numbers, and Tom Heardman has told the Chronicle that he has been training with the first-team.
A physical, well-built striker, 19-year-old Heardman has drawn comparisons with recent Newcastle academy graduate Andy Carroll, and has been in prolific form in the last month. Six Under-21 starts have brought a return of four goals for Peter Beardsley’s side, and he has been touted as a potential debutant in the coming weeks.
Papiss Cisse and Siem de Jong are out of action, leaving Ayoze Perez as the only natural striker in the Magpies squad. Emmanuel Riviere can play as a forward, but having yet to score in the Premier League makes him a poor choice.
The lack of attacking options could see Heardman called into matchday squads, and at least his inclusion would mean the Toon have an in-form striker to name. Although he has yet to make a first-team appearance for the club, there is no denying that he could not be worse than any other option in the team, and he has confirmed that he is one step closer to making his debut.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Heardman has confirmed that he has trained with the first-team when the squads have combined due to injury.
The youngster said: “I have occasionally trained with the first team when the two groups come together.”
Whilst Headman’s words indicate that he is still a member of the reserve squad, knowing that he is called upon when the first-team squad is decimated opens the door to a possible senior debut, and that will surely come in the next few weeks.