ROLANDO Aarons has returned for Newcastle United in the nick of time – and he can help nick more points at The Hawthorns.
Aarons made a goalscoring comeback from a hamstring problem in last week’s stunning Capital One Cup win over Manchester City.
The 18-year-old then stepped off the bench for the injured Gabriel Obertan in last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool.
Obertan – whose match-winning goal against Leicester City last month sparked the club’s revival – is facing up to five months on the sidelines with a torn thigh muscle.
The winger pulled up in the first half at St James’s Park.
And Aarons – who forced his way into Alan Pardew’s plans in pre-season and yesterday got another England Under-20 call-up – could start against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
“Luckily Aarons has returned from injury at a good time for us,” said United manager Pardew.
“We wouldn’t have had the same impact, I don’t think, without his pace if we had lost Gabby
“We have lost Gabby but gained him, and it becomes one for one, really.
“We still carried the threat (against Liverpool), which is a fantastic tribute to Aarons, because he really hasn’t trained much.
“To offer us the same threat as Gabby, in the form he’s in, was great for him. It is a blow to us, make no mistake.”
Obertan’s future seemingly lay elsewhere in the summer when he was left out of Pardew’s squad for the club’s two-game tour of New Zealand.
But the 25-year-old, signed from Manchester United in the summer of 2011, fought his way back into Pardew’s plans.
And the injury is a significant blow to Obertan, who had wreaked havoc with his pace after earning a recall.
Obertan’s French countryman Moussa Sissoko was yesterday called up into Didier Deschamps’s squad for the games against Sweden and Albania in the international break.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, on a season-long loan at AS Roma, was also selected, but Remy Cabella was left out.
Cabella has been a regular in recent squads, but he has lost his place in Pardew’s Premier League starting XI.
Sissoko shone against Liverpool and Manchester City as well as in the win over Tottenham Hotspur late last month.
And the powerful midfielder is one of the first names on Pardew’s teamsheet.
“You look at what we do, and Sissoko is a big part of that,” said Pardew. “He was a massive man for us.
“He didn’t get man of the match, because we’re just taking it for granted.
“He is a huge presence in this team, and has been our best player.”