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Newcastle: Anthony Gordon turns doubters into believers

Gordon began his secondary education at Alsop High School before being transferred to one of Everton’s partner schools, Wade Deacon in Widnes, at the age of 14. He traveled there from his home in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

“We always thought he was a big boy, and he is. We knew he would be fast, and he is fast,” the coach continues. “It’s about looking at the boy and trying to see the man at the end of the street. It’s thanks to Anthony that he has continued to develop.”

There was a reunion with Dewsnip in England, where Gordon, together with an illustrious group of young players, won the Limoges tournament in France in 2018.

“This team consisted of Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Curtis Jones and Folarin Balogun,” adds Dewsnip. “He was part of a group full of exciting attacking talent.

“We had a bond with each other. He came and talked to me over coffee. I coached his agent when he was younger and there was a connection with Everton. Then I watched his progress from a distance. I saw him playing for the U21s at Burnley. He was on one side and Cole Palmer was on the other. I thought, ‘My God, wow!’”

Gordon’s beginnings at Everton in some ways mirror his recent turnaround at Newcastle. He was never afraid to make his feelings known to staff, but he always knew how to turn a setback into a path to progress following a six-month spell with Preston North End in 2021.

His former coach recalls: “I remember doing a finishing session with him once when he was 14. He didn’t look happy and when I spoke to him he said, ‘I don’t need that, I can do that.’ I need a challenge. I need resistance.’ I thought, “Wow, telling the coaches what he wants at his age.”

“I think the loan he had at Preston helped him a lot. He started well and then didn’t get his way. He was in and out. He came back from that loan, worked over the summer and that was the trigger. He kept kicking. When you look at it now and when you look at it when it first broke, the difference is huge.”

In an interview last month with former Manchester United defender Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast, Gordon spoke about controlling his own development at Newcastle.

“I stay outside all the time [after training] because I feel like it ended too quickly and I’m not ready to go in,” Gordon said.

“The gaffer knows I don’t like working in the gym. He knows I like to do what makes me feel good, and I’ve been injury-free this season. It worked.”

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