Jamal Lewis’ Newcastle United career has not gone to plan at all.
The left-back moved to St James’ Park in the summer of 2020, bought by Steve Bruce for £15million from Norwich. He looked like a smart and sound investment at the time. However, things haven’t gone to plan.
Lewis initially struggled in a Toon shirt, and eventually lost his place to Paul Dummett then Matt Ritchie. A formation shift in April 2020 was the catalyst for our survival, but Lewis played no part.
There was no change last season either, with Bruce barely using the Northern Ireland international before his departure.
Eddie Howe’s appointment didn’t change much, although suspension to Ritchie did hand Lewis a chance. He started four games in a row and did well, but was forced off with injury against Liverpool. December 16th was the last time he featured for the Magpies.
He’s since been dropped from the Premier League squad and suffered injury woes, while Matt Targett excelled in his position.
The 26-year-old’s loan spell is now over, leading to speculation over who will be Newcastle’s left-back next season. There’s talk that Targett could return, while Brazil international Renan Lodi has been linked.
But what does the future hold for Lewis?
Eddie Howe will give Jamal Lewis a chance to ‘prove himself’
According to the Athletic, Lewis will be given a chance to prove himself in pre-season. They claim that Howe believes he can get more out of the 24-year-old.
That’s certainly possible given how many players he’s improved since taking over at Newcastle. Joelinton, Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar, Ryan Fraser and Sean Longstaff are just a few players who’ve benefitted from the change of manager.
Lewis could experience the same fate, but it will be up to him to impress in pre-season.
Even if he does impress, it might still be difficult for him to get back into the Premier League squad. With interest growing in a Champions League level defender in Lodi, it’s difficult to see Lewis getting a chance.
But pre-season could be a clean slate for a player who has largely underwhelmed since his £15million move.
This season was all about the Joelinton renaissance, so perhaps 2022/23 can be about the Lewis emergence.