Shola Ameobi is a tall but skillfull striker and broke through into the Newcastle team in 2000-01 when Alan Shearer and Carl Cort were injured. Nigerian born Ameobi made his Newcastle debut against Chelsea in September 2000 after a striker shortage at St James' Park, and hasn't looked back since.
Shola came to England with his parents at the age of five. He is a product of the Newcastle United Academy, which he attended from the age of 13. Ameobi impressed at the United Academy and he played for the Reserves one day short of his 18th birthday.
Shola made his debut for the England Under 21 side also in 2000/01, making five appearances in total, four of them as a substitute, and scored two goals both against Finland. Ameobi began the 2001/02 season in impressive style with two goals in the Intertoto Cup win against Sporting Lokeren, but was pushed down the pecking order with Alan Shearer returning from fitness and Craig Bellamy's arrival at Toon.
A knee injury haulted his domestic 2001/02 season but he recovered fully to play his part in the European Under 21 Championships in Switzerland. However, he came back with a bang the following season, and hit eight goals in the league and Champions League, incluing his best performance in a black and white shirt against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. He even managed to edge Bellamy out of the side for parts of the season, and Shola is one to watch in the future and could become one of the top strikers in England.