Former Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick thriving away from St James' Park

Newcastle Utd - Gate

Newcastle opted against offering Jak Alnwick a new contract last summer, but the 22-year-old has been in superb form for his new club Port Vale.

Jak Alnwick was deemed surplus to requirements at St James' Park but with the 22-year-old now impressing at Port Vale and Tim Krul out for the rest of the season, it might be a decision Newcastle are ruing.

A product of the Magpies' youth academy, Alnwick made eight appearances for the Toon last term, with the most notable coming as a substitute in a 2-1 victory over Chelsea.

The Hexham-born 'keeper made five superb saves that day, with Newcastle ending the Blues' unbeaten start to the season in the process.

After the game, then-Toon manager Alan Pardew singled the inexperienced Alnwick out for praise and even discussed the possibility of the youngster earning a new contract with the club.

But after Krul returned to the first team following another injury, Alnwick was loaned out to Bradford City, where he struggled for game time.

Come the end of the season, Newcastle opted against the offer of a new contract, with the 22-year-old eventually moving to Port Vale in League One on a six-month contract.

Since signing for the Valiants, Alnwick has enjoyed a new lease of life, with manager Rob Page starting the youngster in every one of Vale's games this season.

There have been plenty of superb showings since, with a Capital One Cup clash with West Bromwich Albion that went to penalties providing a particular highlight.

Page has been full of praise for Alnwick too, with the Port Vale manager keen to tie Alnwick down to a long-term deal.

"He's been outstanding, he really has. I think what typified him was West Brom away when he wasn't fazed at all," he told The Stoke Sentinel.

"Having had those eight Premier League games has given him the experience to go to a stadium like that and not be fazed at all... He has been a great addition to the squad."

Capped by England at under-17 and under-18 level, should Alnwick continue to impress for Port Vale in the coming weeks and months, then he could yet attract interest from elsewhere.

Newcastle, for one, could do with another goalkeeper right now.

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