SAMMY AMEOBI has promised he will never alter his all-out attacking style of play – because big brother Shola told him this was his route to the top of football.
The 20-year-old has caught the eye this season with his dynamic performances in the Europa League campaign.
Ameobi has been ordered by manager Alan Pardew to take on opponents when he can, and one such ambitious dribble led to Gabriel Obertan scoring the winner against Club Brugge at St James’ Park last month.
He sees himself as an out-and-out winger, despite having played in a more central role at times, and revealed his elder sibling has always encouraged him to beat defenders, advice he is ready to follow to the letter.
Ameobi said: “I enjoy playing on the wing. I like to run at people and I get to do that more on the wings. That’s the position I prefer, but I’ll play anywhere the manager asks me to.
“Ever since I came through the ranks, it’s Shola who has encouraged me to take people on. The main part of my game is to create chances for others.
“Shola has encouraged me to get at them, and if I lose the ball that’s something that comes with the game. I’m not going to get through every time, but I’ll keep taking on players.”
Ameobi would have played last night for England’s Under-21 team against Northern Ireland in Blackpool had he not pulled out of the game with injury, a problem that ruined last season after such a promising start.
A run-out for Stuart Pearce’s side would have been just reward for his start to this campaign.
Pardew has high hopes for a player who realises himself that a lot of hard work lies ahead of him before he can claim to have made it. Ameobi said: “I still have got a long way to go. I am only now in a position where I have just started to play for the first team. I am not getting ahead of myself in any way.
“I am just on the verge but I feel that I am past that point where I am the new kid on the block.
“I am here to start making a difference now and showing that I want to get to the top and make a difference in games. There is no room for error really so hopefully I can do that.”
At 21, Newcastle defender Davide Santon is only a year older than Ameobi, and yet he could win his first cap in almost two years for Italy in a friendly match against France in Parma.
The former Inter Milan star has been in superb club form, and that has earned him a recall to Cesare Prandelli’s squad.
Speaking on www.nufc.co.uk, Santon (pictured right) said: “I am so happy because it has been a really long time since I was in the senior international team. It will be really nice, especially if I play against my friend Yohan Cabaye.
“Even though it is a friendly, we want to win and I am excited for the match and to see all my friends from Italy.
“But I want to come back from the game and then get a win for Newcastle against Swansea. My team is Newcastle and I want to win games here first of all. If we are winning and I am playing well, then I will hopefully continue to make the Italy squad.”