SAMMY Ameobi’s Newcastle United future is looking brighter – after a darker period at St James’s Park.
The forward’s career at the club looked to be in the balance a few weeks ago.
And the 22-year-old now finds himself back in the first-team squad.
Ameobi came off the bench to set up Papiss Demba Cisse’s second goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
With United trailing the hosts 2-1 as the hour-mark approached, manager Alan Pardew turned to Ameobi ahead of summer signings Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere.
And Ameobi, told to get balls in the box, took his chance by delivering a fine cross for Cisse.
“I think Sammy has looked bright,” said Pardew.
“We’re really hoping the penny has dropped with him because he has got such talent.
“He produced that on the Premier League level, and now we’ve got to see more of that this season.
“I’ve been talking about him for a long time without him really delivering.
“This season he looks better than any time I’ve seen him. Hopefully, he can have a big season for us.”
Ameobi – whose elder brother Shola left St James’s Park in the summer after a long career on Tyneside – made his debut for the club almost three and a half years ago.
But he has found his opportunities limited in recent seasons.
And Pardew admitted recently that Ameobi – who had a loan spell at Middlesbrough the season before last – was “running out of chances” at the club.
For his part, Ameobi – who has played for England’s Under-21s – knows he needs to play regularly to have a chance of following in his brothers footsteps and representing Nigeria at senior level.
Ameobi has scored two League Cup goals for United.