Newcastle only paid fees for two players last summer, bringing in Callum Wilson from Bournemouth and Lewis from Norwich City.
The left-back has gone on to make 20 starts in the Premier League but he has struggled for minutes in recent weeks, sitting on the bench for the last four games, against West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Tottenham Hotspur, and he was labelled as “really, really poor” by Gary Neville following a goal the Magpies conceded back in February.
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Gillespie thinks he has a really difficult blend of attributes in the sense that he is good going forward but relatively poor defensively.
He maintains that the player has not hit the ground running after his move, but he has backed him to eventually come good, provided he is managed in the right way.
Speaking exclusively to TIF, the former Magpie said: “He is very talented. I’d say he’s probably better going forward than he is defensively so he needs to work on that because there’s a lot of times in games when Newcastle don’t have a lot of possession, the other team are coming at them, so he needs to be better defensively.
“He’s lost his place at times this season, then won it back, then lost it again. It’s tough when you come to a new club, you want to hit the ground running, sometimes that doesn’t happen, but he’s still very young.
“We know there’s a very capable footballer in there, but it’s just getting the best out of him.”