Ordinarily, Newcastle might have hoped to solve their striking issue from within, with a player from the youth team.

Of course, it represents a risk to throw a young player into a relegation dogfight, but they would have the energy and exuberance of youth and a desire to grab their opportunity.

At St James’ Park, they would be roared on by the home faithful, but Newcastle do not have a young striker capable of being in the matchday squad even against League 1 Cambridge United.

The Athletic report that there are no internal solutions.

Newcastle United v Cambridge United: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)


Dylan Stephenson, 18, has 11 goals this season but none of the reserves are deemed anywhere close to being first-team ready.

That is a hangover from the Mike Ashley era, when investment in the academy was an afterthought and the production line to the first team has all but dried up.

All that mattered was surviving in the Premier League; not building the club for the future or investing in the new generation of players.

And it is costing Eddie Howe now because he is relying on the club getting a big-money striking deal over the line rather than being able to take a gamble on a player from within.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Callum Wilson’s injury is a huge blow, but the fact that there is not a young player who is even deemed close to being a potential stop-gap is a longer term issue.

It underlines that even with the hope and the optimism and the investment and hopefully the new faces, some elements of the previous era will take longer to shake off.

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