Newcastle 19 year-old forward Alex Gilliead continues to get great press for the display he put in for Luton at Notts County over the weekend in the 0-0 draw.
Alex was said to be absolutely brilliant in the first half of the game and he has people comparing to former Newcastle greats – Paul Gascoigne and Chris Waddle.
Luton manager Nathan Jones has continued to talk about the performance which he thinks is the best he’s seen from a League Two player.
Alex Gilliead in Newcastle’s colors
Alex is on loan at Luton and this is what Nathan has said about the teenager:
“From Alex Gilliead it’s probably one of the best performances I’ve seen from a League Two player.”
“Until he ran out of steam at the end I thought he was absolutely outstanding, in terms of how he went about it with real, real quality.”
“We knew we’d get that type of performance from him and we’re delighted with him.”
Alex was told about his manager’s comments and he responded – rather modestly – in this way:
“You can’t let them get to you too much.”
“It’s obviously nice to hear it and it’s nice for people to say it, but I’ve got to keep my head down and keep working hard because I want to be in Newcastle’s first team.”
“Putting in performances, like the manager says, I just need to keep doing that and getting recognised by the fans and from managers like Nathan.”
“All the lads, staff and fans have been dead canny with me and all alright.”
“Coming down here suits my type of play. Nathan wants to keep the ball, counter attack and go quick, so I’m enjoying it.”
Gilliead’s playing style and his enormous skill on the ball and the way he takes on opposing defenders has raised comparisons with two of Newcastle’s great forwards of the past – Chris Waddle and Paul Gascoigne.
Alex has a long way to go to equal the exploits of those two Geordie lads and when asked about the players he is of course too young to have seen the England Internationals play.
This is what Alex said:
“I wasn’t around when they were playing but my uncle and my granddad have told me a lot about them.”
“Peter Beardsley is my coach at Newcastle and I know what a class player he was.”
“I just like to get the ball and run and I think a few Newcastle players used to do that, so it’s just the way I play.”
Paul and Chris were Newcastle-born players who played for Newcastle before they were both sold off to Spurs.
Chris was born in Felling and played at the club for five seasons (191 appearances 36 goals) before he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for £590K in 1985 when he was just 25.
Paul was born in Dunston and played only three full seasons for Newcastle (104 appearances 25 goals) before he was also sold to Tottenham for £2.2M in 1988 (then a British record fee) when he was only 21.
If Alex Gilliead gets anywhere near the brilliance of Chris and Paul then he will have a fantastic career in front of him and hopefully at Newcastle United under (long-term) manager Rafa Benitez.