Cal Roberts has given Newcastle United fans some hope that at least one player can make the step up from the academy to the first-team. But despite catching the eye of Rafa Benitez, the 21-year-old is still yet to make his senior bow for The Magpies.
Roberts, a winger by trade, impressed during pre-season and was even trialled in a new-look full-back role by Benitez, who remains keen to make full use of an academy which has struggled to produce Premier League quality players in the last decade or so.
Roberts has shone at youth level too, particularly in a recent 5-0 thrashing of local rivals Sunderland. But he remains a long way down the pecking order at St James’ Park and believes that he could have to prove himself elsewhere before he gets his chance in the top flight.
“Hopefully I can get that loan move in January,” the South Shields-born England U20 international told The Chronicle.
“It’s probably the closest some of us will get to a first team game in the first half of the season.”
Roberts has struggled slightly during previous loan spells at Gateshead and Kilmarnock but his stand-out displays at U23 level suggest that he is ready to make the step up to senior football.