As Dylan Stephenson, a young player for Newcastle United, approaches the last six months of his current contract at St James Park, he must make a significant decision regarding his future.
The 21-year-old forward has been a member of the United academy for the past seven years. He scored goals frequently while advancing through the Magpies development system, and within the previous 18 months, he was given the chance to practice with Eddie Howe’s senior side.
In August 2022, Stephenson made his first-team debut as a late substitution in a preseason friendly victory over Serie A club Atalanta. He also scored his first senior goal in a midseason friendly victory against Saudi Pro League team Al-Hilal, which further validated his growth.
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As a result, there were rumors that Stephenson was getting ready for his first loan move ever. The young forward acknowledged that he wanted to emulate fellow Magpie Elliot Anderson by becoming successful away from Tyneside.
In January of last year, Stephenson stated in an exclusive interview with NewcastleWorld: “You see other players that go away and get the experience, and when they come back, they are like a completely new player.
“An example of that is Elliott Anderson, who excelled while on loan at Bristol Rovers and returned a much better player—just look at where he is now. I have played with him since we were under-15s until he started playing regularly for the first team, so he is the one I really look up to. In order to get experience and see what men’s football is like, (I) really want to go out on loan. It goes without saying that I had some fun with the Papa John’s Trophy, but you want to be surrounded by men’s football and all of its perks.
Only a few days after ending his loan with Scottish Championship team Hamilton Academical, Stephenson scored his first senior competitive goal in a 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle. He would go on to score just one goal throughout his tenure at New Douglas Park, and in the summer he returned to Tyneside to play for the Magpies Under-21s in a number of friendlies.
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Stephenson’s time at his boyhood club appears to be coming to an end as United is reportedly willing to letting him go on loan for the rest of the season in the absence of any signs of a new contract.
According to NewcastleWorld, a number of Scottish Championship, National League, and National League North teams have expressed interest in signing the young Magpies player. Hartlepool United has most recently added their name to an increasing list of potential suitors. Over the past two weeks, talks have been held with a number of clubs, and it is anticipated that Stephenson will make a choice regarding his future and depart Newcastle by the end of this week.