By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Alan Pardew believes Academy graduate Paul Dummett is staking a serious claim for a first team place at St. James' Park this season.
The left-sided defender caught the eye as United opened their pre-season account with a 4-2 victory at Motherwell on Tuesday night, laying on an assist for Sylvain Marveaux's goal and producing a number of fine forays forward from his full-back berth.
Dummett spent the majority of last season on loan at Scottish Premier League outfit St. Mirren, where he enjoyed regular, senior first-team football, and Pardew is confident that the 21-year-old could now make another big leap forward in to his Magpies matchday squad.
"We had some bonuses with the younger players," Pardew told nufc.co.uk after the Motherwell match.
"Haris (Vuckic) was very good on his return but Paul Dummett was the pick of the bunch. It was an outstanding performance, as he has put in all year with St. Mirren.
"He is now knocking on the door, seriously, and I don't say that lightly because the Premier League is a big jump. But he was fantastic and couldn't have done more.
"He's an Academy lad and there's nothing better than producing your own.
"Massadio (Haidara) and Davide Santon suddenly have a bit of competition. He's right on their tail."