Just a few months ago, Elias Sorensen and Callum Roberts were being touted as the future of Newcastle United.
The U23s stars were taking the Premier League 2 by storm, and supporters were even calling for pair to get first team opportunities.
Sorensen had netted a phenomenal 19 goals by Christmas, while Roberts had 12 goals and eight assists in 18 PL2 and EFL Trophy matches.
Roberts even managed to feature for Newcastle’s first team in an FA Cup replay versus Blackburn earlier this year.
Although he was in and out of the match, it was a perfect debut for Roberts, who smashed in a delightful volley for his first club goal.
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But first-team opportunities were limited and so the consensus was that the pair needed to go on loan come January.
Sorensen sealed a move to League One’s Blackpool and Roberts to League Two’s Colchester United.
But the duo might have been better off staying put, as so far their loan moves have proved frustrating.
Benchwarmers: Are they good enough for lower league football?
Although they weren’t expected to dominate in the lower leagues, the pair haven’t exactly been given a chance to test their talents.
Since joining Blackpool, Sorensen has played just 32 minutes for The Seasiders in a match against Wycombe on January 29th.
The Danish striker has found himself third-choice striker already, and did not even feature in their matchday squad on Saturday.
Roberts meanwhile has featured just nine minutes for Colchester, and has also found himself languishing on the bench.
However the question must be asked, do the duo deserve more game time?
It wasn’t known whether the pair would be good enough for lower league football, but that appears to be the case so far.
When Sean Longstaff went on loan to Blackpool last season, his quality was clear.
The Newcastle native played 42 times in League One, and was a mainstay of the Blackpool side.
It’s unsurprising the youngster is now showing what he can do in the Premier League.
Longstaff was clearly better than what Blackpool already had at the time, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for Sorensen.
There is still plenty of time for Roberts and Sorensen to feature for their new sides, but the moves so far look unfruitful.
U23s stardom never guarantees first team success
Some Newcastle fans were frustrated by Rafa Benitez last year and his neglect of Sorensen’s goal scoring form.
But as usual, the manager looks to have made the right decision in stalling Sorensen’s jump to the first team.
Newcastle have produced many top strikers at youth level, but few ever make it in the Premier League.
At the 2010 Nike Cup, Newcastle youngster Adam Campbell won the prestigious Most Valuable Player award.
The award’s previous winners included Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres, and so Campbell looked destined to be the Toon’s next number nine.
He made his PL debut in 2013, but was unable to cement a place in the side.
He was given plenty of loan spells to find form, but similarly found himself benched by lower league sides.
The Toon sold Campbell in 2015, and he eventually found regular football in League Two with Notts County and later Morecambe.
Adam Armstrong similarly struggled to find the net with Newcastle after his promotion to the first team in 2014.
After a successful loan move to Coventry in 2015, he later experienced disappointing spells at Barnsley and Bolton.
Armstrong was sold to Blackburn at the start of this season, but has rarely impressed in the Championship so far.
It will be a shame if Sorensen and Roberts go the same way, but it would hardly be a surprise.