Newcastle man Jamal Lewis helped Northern Ireland secure a memorable point against Italy last night. In standing firm, they consigned the European Champions to the World Cup qualifying play-offs.

The £14 million signing from Norwich City started the game at left wing-back and was largely impressive.

Ian Baraclough has viewed Lewis as a regular in his team and the 23-year-old is busy repaying the faith shown by his international boss.

Now, the left-back will return to Newcastle and hope to impress Eddie Howe for the first time ahead of the weekend’s game with Brentford.

Northern Ireland v Italy - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
(Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The defending on display last night was heroic by Northern Ireland. They kept out an Italy side who were free-scoring at times during Euro 2020 and Baraclough should be proud.

The Belfast Telegraph delivered player ratings on their website – suggesting that a nasty habit crept into Lewis’s game.

It read: “Had to curb his attacking instincts, can look vulnerable at times. Great set up for Saville chance.”


Despite suggesting he can look vulnerable last night, it was a performance that should delight Howe.

He will want plenty of energy all over the pitch given his stereotypical style of play and Lewis could be perfect under him.

Familiar trait creeps in but Newcastle could see Lewis thrive under Howe

The Northern Ireland star has played for just six minutes in the Premier League this season. Steve Bruce preferred other options and perhaps Howe will now see things differently.

It’s not unfair to say that Lewis can sometimes look vulnerable but then he does typify a modern-day full-back that simply loves to get forward.

Bournemouth Training Session
(Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Lewis has made 28 appearances for the club in total and Howe needs to make sure he gives the ex-Norwich man a chance to prove himself.

The youngster will be buoyed by last night’s performance and he’ll now hope to revive his club form too.

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