Benitez project entices Aarons into penning five-year Newcastle deal

Rolando Aarons
Rolando Aarons

Newcastle United have completed another summer signing, with winger Rolando Aarons penning a new five-year contract at the Championship club.

And the 20-year-old is now looking forward to being part of manager Rafa Benitez’s “project” at St James’s Park.

“It’s something that was always going to happen, but it’s nice to get it done,” said Aarons.

“I love the club, and this shows it even more. Under the new manager, there’s a project and it’s a forward-thinking club now, so I’m just happy to be part of what the manager has in store for the club and I’m happy that he has faith in me.

“I’d like to repay him and the fans and my family for this opportunity.”

Aarons added on Twitter: “Signed here as a 16 year old and I’m really happy to be committing myself to this club for next 5 years.”

Aarons – who featured prominently in pre-season – came off the bench late in Newcastle’s season-opening defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The England Under-20 international, on the fringes under Steve McClaren last season, has responded to Benitez’s methods and encouragement.

Talks over a new contract for Aarons broke down in late 2014.

He was offered a deal after breaking into the first-team squad the season before last, but the contract was rejected.

Aarons was used sparingly – and out of position at left-back – by McClaren last season despite overcoming his injury problems, but he scored in the season-ending 5-1 win over Tottenham.

And he has hit the ground running in pre-season under Benitez, McClaren’s successor.

Aarons said: “It was a frustrating season for me, obviously.

“But it was nice to play in my position at the end and grab a goal, so the manager knows what I can do and hopefully get a chance this season to play more games in my position and impact on games.

“I have had a decent pre-season again and this year I’m just looking to take it into the season.

“This is obviously a big year with more games, so he (Benitez) is going to have to use more players and that means more opportunities, for not just me, but Jamie Sterry, Adam Armstrong and a lot of other players who don’t get a chance when we only have one game every week.”