Does Harrison Ashby have a future at Newcastle beyond Swansea loan spell?
Written by Ben Boyd on 29th September 2023
Milton Keynes-born Scottish youth international Harrison Ashby only joined the Magpies in January, but now finds himself on-loan in the south of Wales at Championship side Swansea City.
Ashby found it difficult to break into the starting eleven on a regular basis ahead of Kieran Trippier, making only two Premier League appearances, though he still managed to bag an assist and a goal in the process.
Newcastle were also in the market for another right-back this summer, in the form of former Chelsea man Tino Livramento, who was a bright spark in a relegated Southampton side.
True Faith fanzine writer Carl Richardson thinks that a loan switch to the Championship will be beneficial to the youngster’s career.
“At his age, it is more about soaking in as much information as possible, and not necessarily having a lot of minutes!
“It’s why this loan move could help, he had that 6 month period training and learning from international players, and now gets to put that into practice in a tough league.”
So far this campaign, the 21-year-old has made five appearances in the Championship and two in the Carabao Cup, including a substitute cameo at home against Premier League side Bournemouth as the Swans crashed out in the second round of the competition.
Richardson said he was impressed by what he saw in Ashby’s brief stint on Tyneside, but thinks there is a lot more to come.
“There is a lot of raw talent there, it just needs to be honed! He does remind me a bit of Trips in terms of delivery and getting forward but feel he has a way to go yet to get to that level.
“At only £2 million, I think West Ham could live to regret that price, if he continues his development.”
What has been evident at Swansea, is Ashby’s versatility in terms of positions he can play. At Newcastle and the club’s U21s, he played as a right-back.
This season has seen Ashby deployed at right midfield, a position he has played previously with West Ham. With a goal and assist so far this campaign, it’s clear Ashby has the ability to play further up the pitch.
Ashby also has a considerable amount of experience at a high level, including appearances in the UEFA Conference and Europa League for West Ham.
Of course, this season could have seen the Scot playing Champions League football for Newcastle but was surplus to requirements in Eddie Howe’s side. Despite how highly rated he is at Swansea, it’s very likely Newcastle have him in their long-term plans.
Regarding Ashby’s future at his parent club, Richardson said: “I [definitely] think he has a part to play at Newcastle after his loan at Swansea!
‘’It may be dictated by how long Tripps (Trippier) decides to play for, but he has been bought, in my opinion, as the long-term replacement! Between him and Tino, Newcastle have secured the RB position for the next 5-6 years at least.’’
At the age of 33, Kieran Trippier is not likely to be the long-term solution at right back. Newcomer Tino Livramento and Ashby definitely have the potential to fill the void, as well as using his versatility to play elsewhere on the pitch if necessary.