Promising striker still long way off for Newcastle United

Facundo Ferreyra.

Facundo Ferreyra.

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FACUNDO Ferreyra needs building up before he can start knocking down Premier League defences.

The on-loan Newcastle United striker is yet to make his competitive debut three months into the new season.

Ferreyra’s only appearances this term have come for the club’s Under-21 side.

And the 23-year-old Argentine is seemingly no closer to making his first-team bow.

The closest Ferreyra, on a season-long loan from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, has come to the Premier League is the United bench.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says the former Argentina Under-20 international is still adjusting to English football, though he is “improving”.

“We’re trying to build him, physically and mentally,” Pardew said.

“The Premier League is different to what he’s been used to. He’s picking up in training and is improving.”

Ferreyra – who played for Banfield and Velez Sarsfield earlier in his career – won praise from reserve-team coach Peter Beardsley after a recent appearance for United’s Under-21s

Beardsley said: “I have to say he’s been excellent for us.

“He hasn’t played many games for us, but he’s been outstanding. One day, hopefully, he’ll be a top player for us.”

The likes of Ayoze Perez and Adam Armstrong are ahead of Ferreyra in the pecking order at Newcastle. Perez has scored three Premier League goals, while Armstrong has made two Capital One Cup starts.

Meanwhile, Pardew is wary of this afternoon’s St James’s Park opponents Queens Park Rangers – and their experienced manager Harry Redknapp.

QPR are in the relegation zone, but Pardew feels they will soon start to climb the table.

“His CV and reputation speak for themselves – he’s been there and done it,” said Pardew.

“He knows that his team is playing well. They are better than the position they are in, and we’ll see that.

“We won’t be surprised to get a tough game.”