Rolando Aarons is one of many players who seem to have a second chance at Newcastle this summer.
The winger wasn’t fancied by Rafa Benitez, who gave him a few opportunities before sending him out on loan to the likes of Hellas Verona, Slovan Liberec and Sheffield Wednesday.
But with Steve Bruce now at the helm, it looks like Aarons could get another chance. And circumstance means that the friendly against St Etienne could be huge for the 23-year-old.
When Matt Ritchie had to come off against Hibs with an injury on Tuesday night, it was Aarons who took his place. Newcastle aren’t blessed with options on the left, especially with Bruce needing a disciplined player to operate as a wing-back.
And Aarons was exactly that. While it wasn’t against the strongest opposition, he proved he can still do a job for the Magpies, capping his evening off with an excellent cross that Jamaal Lascelles headed home.
With Ritchie set to miss the St Etienne clash, Aarons will likely get a chance from the start. If he plays well, then he could force himself into the starting XI for the first game of the season.
Newcastle have improved their options out on the left though. Jetro Willems has arrived on loan, which puts even more pressure on Aarons.
Bruce might be tempted to throw Willems in from the cold against Arsenal. Aarons has a chance to show him that he doesn’t need to take that risk.
It’s only a friendly, but the game against St Etienne could be make or break for Rolando Aarons. No pressure kid.