By Dominic Toner
Rolando Aarons is looking forward to the new season after his injury nightmare.
The 20-year-old has been extremely unfortunate with injury in his short career to date and has only made 17 appearances for the senior side since his debut in 2014 under Alan Pardew.
“I can’t be thinking about the past. I have to focus on the season ahead and getting us back into the Premier League,” Aarons told the Chronicle. “Obviously, I want to make my stamp on this season. I am really looking forward to getting started.”
The Newcastle winger has slowly been breaking into the first-team and grabbed his first Premier League goal on the final day of the 2015-16 season in the 5-1 drubbing of Tottenham.
Aarons recently set himself the goal of being an integral part of Newcastle’s Championship side and told the club’s website that he hopes to show manager Rafa Benitez that he can score goals for him.
Aarons has been impressed with what he’s seen of Benitez so far. “It has been brilliant for me as a player,” he said.
“He’s a top coach, he’s proven and he’s a nice person as well. He speaks to all of the players and we all know what we are doing.”
Star player Moussa Sissoko has been linked with a move away this summer and the Chronicle reported that Spanish giants Real Madrid are interested, which could leave Aarons a clear shot at nailing down a starting spot.
New signing Matt Ritchie is likely to operate on the flank after his £10million move from Bournemouth.
Benitez has been busy in the transfer window, and has also added striker Dwight Gayle for £10million and Blackburn captain Grant Hanley for £5.5million.
Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels put pen to paper for £5million, while Arsenal’s Isaac Hayden and Atletico Madrid’s Champions League defender Jesus Gamez look to beef up the Magpies’ defence.
Newcastle supporters hope that the club can seal an immediate return to the Premier League and have been installed as title favourites by most bookmakers.
In other Newcastle team news, Hayden has given his Twitter verdict on the club’s preparations for the new season.