There won't be many Carlisle United youngsters who have drawn comparisons to Frank Lampard.

But the fact that Gateshead assistant manager Ian Watson believes that Taylor Charters can develop into a goalscoring midfielder in the same mould as the Chelsea legend - albeit lower down the pyramid - speaks volumes of the impact the Carlisle academy graduate made during his loan spell on Tyneside.

The 20-year-old, who recently penned a new one-year deal at Brunton Park, spent the majority of the second half of the season at the International Stadium and helped Mike Williamson's side to the National League North title.

And as a return to Carlisle for pre-season draws closer, we got the inside track from Gateshead on how the youngster fared while in the North East.

And it's far to say the endorsement was a ringing one.

"The main thing first of all is that he was a really good person, and he fit straight in with the group," said Watson, speaking to the News & Star.

"It was a bit hectic when he signed because we didn't have a full squad going into our game on the Saturday. We did the deal on the Friday before the Hereford game and then he travelled down on the Friday night and met the boys for the first time.

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"I think he knew Cedwyn (Scott) from Carlisle, but other than that he didn't know anybody, and then he played his first game the next day. He was brilliant - he played centre midfield against a good side, we won the game and he did really well.

"His attitude was fantastic and that stayed the same all the way through.

News and Star: Taylor Charters in action for Carlisle last season (Photo: Barbara Abbott)Taylor Charters in action for Carlisle last season (Photo: Barbara Abbott)

"His every day work rate on the training pitch was really impressive and he never gave less than 100 per cent in any session. We even played him out of position and he didn't once twist or complain about it."

That positional change that Watson alludes to saw Charters play much of his football for the Heed at left-back.

And while it perhaps isn't the position the youngster would ideally like to play, it was one in which he shone - again underlining that excellent attitude that endeared him to his temporary side.

I don't think he was a fan at first, but he never once asked a question about it," admits Watson.

"He just came in, got on with it and was brilliant to be fair to him.

"We played Telford and the lad who was playing left-back wasn't having his strongest game. We thought we'd bring Taylor on there because he has a good left foot, good distribution and is calm on the ball.

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"He came on and changed the momentum of the game. We made another sub which also helped, but he really made a difference from left-back and his distribution was brilliant. 

"He's an athletic boy - he moves well and is dynamic," he continued.

"The one-on-one defending he's good at and he needs that to play central midfield. It was more the game understanding to play left-back and there was maybe a couple of times where his positional sense was a little bit off because he hadn't played there before.

"But to be fair to him, when myself, Mike and Louis (Storey, player-coach) worked with him in training, he was dead receptive and wanted to learn.

News and Star: Can Charters establish himself next season? (Photo: Barbara Abbott)Can Charters establish himself next season? (Photo: Barbara Abbott)

"It's probably not a position he wants to see himself in in the future if I'm being completely honest, he probably wants to play centre midfield, but he just wanted to make it as a footballer and is willing to do what he needs to do to play minutes."

But despite playing the majority of his minutes in defence, Charters still managed to chip in with four goals during his time in the sixth tier - all of which came when he played in more advanced roles.

And his calm finishing, coupled with a knack for arriving in the box at the right time, saw Watson draw some impressive comparisons.

"Attacking he's a real threat," he added.

"When he gets inside the box he's a really good finisher. If you look at his goals, they're all quite similar - coming in from the left, maybe overlapping, cutting inside and finishing with his left foot.

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"I think in the future, if he does play in midfield as an eight and plays box-to-box then he is going to be one a bit like a Frank Lampard who does get goals. He's got a lovely left foot and knows how to finish the ball."

So does the Gateshead number two believe that Charters is now ready to establish himself in League Two with Carlisle?

"I do, purely because he's got an unbelievable attitude.

"His desire to want to do well and to work hard and to do whatever takes - he's really got the bit between his teeth.

"He's got the tools and if he uses them, has the right people around him and believes in himself, then I don't see why he can't be a regular player in League Two - and all of us at Gateshead really hope that he does do that."