May 25, 2024

He might wind up outperforming Miley.
In recent years, English clubs, especially Newcastle United, have begun to generate a high-quality crop of midfielders. Birmingham City may take credit for the development of Jude Bellingham, who is perhaps the best player in the world right now. The 20-year-old had previously played for Borussia Dortmund before joining Real Madrid.

Declan Rice, now an Arsenal player, was brought through by West Ham United after starting in Chelsea’s academy, and Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount were successful graduates of the same famous Cobham academy, with the former an integral player for the Blues and the latter now at Manchester United.

More lately, Kobbie Mainoo has emerged as a young midfielder who is quickly becoming one of the world’s best players. Mainoo, 18, has had a quick rise, making his full appearance for England’s senior team just five months after making his Premier League debut with Manchester United.

Lewis Miley, a Newcastle teenager, is another promising midfielder who has already played 17 Premier League games before turning 18. Aside from Miley, Newcastle have several quality young midfielders emerging, notably 21-year-old Joe White, who returned to St James’ Park in January after his loan spell at Crewe Alexandra ended.

However, the Magpies may have let another young midfield star to fall through the cracks and leave the club for a significant Premier League competitor, where he is now making noise and contributing to first team success.

Newcastle let a talented teen leave for peanuts

Bobby Clark, an intriguing talent, departed Newcastle in August 2021 to join Premier League rivals Liverpool. According to Lee Ryder of The Chronicle Live, the Reds completed the transfer quickly after convincing Clark to join Anfield rather than accept a scholarship with the Magpies.

It will undoubtedly disappoint Newcastle fans, who had hoped Clark would follow in his father’s footsteps and wear the iconic black and white stripes at St James’ Park. The youngster’s father is Newcastle veteran Lee Clark, who played 260 games for the club in two stints in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Liverpool paid around £1.5 million for Clark, which may seem excessive for a young player, but there is no questioning his quality. After all, the aforementioned Ryder claimed he resembled the reporter of a “young Paul Gascoigne.”

Unfortunately for fans in the north east, Clark’s father stated that he chose to join the Merseyside club because they already knew a lot about him as a footballer and “because one day they believed he could be a first-team player for Liverpool”.

How Clark and Miley compare

Liverpool leading the way to sign Newcastle starlet Bobby Clark | Daily  Mail Online

 

It’s fair to assume that the opportunities Miley has had this season may have also come to Clark if the Liverpool man had stayed at St James’ Park all those years ago.
Miley’s 17 Premier League appearances this season were originally owing to an injury issue, but they have now been completely merited. According to Matthew Robson of Newcastle Fan website The Mag, “No matter who he has been up against, Lewis Miley hasn’t looked out of place”.

Clark has a more difficult job. He needs to break into a stable Liverpool midfield that includes Alexis MacAllister, Curtis Jones, and Dominik Szoboszlai. However, he has played 14 games for Liverpool thus far and scored his first goal against Sparta Prague in the Europa League this season, as well as registering two assists, one in the Europa League and one in the FA Cup.

Miley and Clark are similar in their football abilities. They are both busy midfielders with similar profiles who excel in the final third but are also capable of playing in all phases and are not afraid to get on the ball and make an influence on the game.

This season, Miley averages 50 touches per 90 minutes, according to Fbref, while Clark averages 47 touches per 90 minutes in the Europa League, according to Sofascore. This demonstrates tremendous maturity and bravery in their game, which is uncommon in midfielders this young.

When in possession, the pair manage the ball well, with Miley averaging 84% pass accuracy in the top division according to Sofascore and Clark somewhat worse at 78%, albeit with a far smaller sample size. They prefer getting on the ball in deeper areas, pulling the strings and kicking off attacks before rushing into the box to score from crosses.

Newcastle will undoubtedly be disappointed that they were unable to retain 19-year-old Clark, who is already making his way into Liverpool’s first squad and displaying quality comparable to Miley’s. If things had gone differently, he may have helped Newcastle get through their injury issue this season instead of being a breakout sensation at Anfield.

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