Newcastle United losing Lewis Gibson means they should go all-out for Preston's Josh Earl

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez gestures during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Bournemouth at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-...

Newcastle United and Everton have been linked with Preston left-back Josh Earl in recent times.

Anthony Georgiou of Tottenham Hotspur battles with Lewis Gibson of Everton during the Premier League 2 match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on September 10, 2017 in...

Newcastle United’s long wait for a homegrown academy graduate to make his mark in the first-team looks set to go on after Everton nabbed highly-rated left-back Lewis Gibson in the summer.

The Liverpool Echo reported that The Toffees could end up paying up to £6 million for the England youth star, who can play on the flank or at centre-half.

While Newcastle were understandably frustrated to lose the 17-year-old before he signed his senior contract with the club, could an opportunity have opened up for the Tyneside club to respond in style?

Lewis Gibson (L) of England scores his team's first goal against Fabian Markl (R) of Austria during the UEFA Under-17 EURO Qualifier between U17 Austria and U17 England on October 30, 2016...

The Sun reported earlier this month that Everton are tracking Preston North End’s rising star Josh Earl, a 6ft 5ins left-back who has exploded onto the first-team picture this season in the absence of the crocked Greg Cunningham.

It is reported that Everton see the 19-year-old as a potential successor to Leighton Baines (below). But, after signing Gibson, do The Toffees really need another highly-rated young left-back? Perhaps not.

Leighton Baines of Everton celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on November 5, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

Newcastle, then, should step in. HITC sources told us in July that The Magpies were tracking the teenage left-back and Earl could find regular minutes easier to come by at St James’ Park with only Paul Dummett ahead of him in the pecking order.

Earl recently signed a new contract with Preston until 2020, meaning the Lilywhites have a strong hand. However, if the highly-rated defender was to choose his preferred Premier League destination, Newcastle could provide more regular first-team action and a better chance to nail down a starting place in the near future.

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