The Ulsterman penned a long-term deal with Toon last week.
Gazza told the Evening Chronicle: "I worked with Shane at the Academy a couple of years ago and it was obvious he had something different.
"He's blessed with a lot of skill and raw ability and that's something you don't see too often from players coming through.
"That's what really stuck out for me. It was a couple of years ago too and you could see then that he had a good chance of making it ahead of some of the others.
"I'm delighted that he has because there aren't too many skilful players that get you off your seat like that.
"But he is one of them and he is at Newcastle, which is great."