Former Newcastle boss John Carver has told BBC's Match of the Day 2 Extra that the Magpies missed out on Michael Carrick due to not having a reserve team in the 1990's.
Carver left the Magpies over the summer having narrowly kept the club in the Premier League, but as a Newcastle fan, he has been discussing the state of the club right now.
New boss Steve McClaren is still struggling for results, and Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Leicester City showed that Newcastle have some way to go yet, with the threat of relegation still looming over them.
Some fans are frustrated by the amount of foreign players in the Newcastle side, with very few players coming up through the ranks at St. James' Park.
Players such as Fraser Forster and Andy Carroll were sold after coming up through the ranks, and the Magpies fans would love to see some boyhood Newcastle fans playing in the famous black and white stripes on a regular basis, just as Alan Shearer did.
It's therefore baffling that Michael Carrick, born in Wallsend and a big Newcastle supporter, wasn't signed by the club before he started his career with West Ham in 1997.
Carrick, 34, has won the Champions League with Manchester United as well as five Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford, enjoying a superb career which has seen him go from West Ham to Tottenham and then on to United.
So how did a talented player like Carrick manage to slip through Newcastle's net when he was on their doorstep? Carver, who was working with the Magpies when Carrick was emerging with Wallsend Boys Club, has told BBC's Match of the Day 2 Extra that a lack of reserve team football meant that the midfielder joined West Ham instead.
"You use Michael Carrick as an example," said Carver. "He was coming into the football club when I was centre of excellence director at the time. It was at a time when Kevin (Keegan) got rid of the reserve team so there wasn’t an avenue to get into the first team. So I couldn’t keep Michael Carrick, he ended up going to West Ham," he added.
Fans love to see homegrown players emerge through the ranks and show their passion for the club on the pitch, and that's just what Carrick would have done had Newcastle been able to sign him. At 34, it seems unlikely that Carrick will ever play for Newcastle now, but had he joined the club almost 20 years ago, you can bet he would have been a fan favourite with his pinpont passing and exceptional vision.
And one thing is for sure; Newcastle cannot afford to be missing out on talents like Carrick now, with young English talent certainly needed at St. James' Park.