ROLANDO Aarons will be back in Alan Pardew’s thoughts for tonight’s Capital One Cup tie against Gillingham.
Aarons narrowly missed out on a place on Newcastle United’s bench at Villa Park on Saturday.
And Aarons watched the goalless draw from the stands along with loan signing Facundo Ferreyra.
Siem de Jong took Aarons’s place among the substitutes after recovering from a calf injury and the summer signing almost claimed all three points for Pardew’s side with a late effort on goal, which was well saved by Brad Guzan.
But Aarons – who made his Premier League debut against Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season – seems certain to feature in the club’s second-round tie at the Priestfield Stadium.
“I think Rolando kind of had a baptism of fire – I put him right in at the deep end,” said Pardew.
“I’m going to use him this year because I really like him – we think he has great, great talent.
“He will be in and around this team for sure all season.”
l HATEM Ben Arfa shone for Newcastle’s second string yesterday – but it is unlikely to be enough to hand him a recall to the first-team squad.
Ben Arfa scored a fine solo goal and played a prominent role in a 5-2 win over Reading after trailing 2-0 to the Royals early on.
The out-of-favour star looked sharp as he completed 90 minutes in front of the watching Pardew.
But he is still likely to spend the rest of the week training away from the first team as Newcastle wait to see if there are any offers for the winger before the close of the transfer window.
Pardew has been quiet on the reasons behind Ben Arfa’s exile to the development squad, but did say last month he felt the player wasn’t showing the right commitment, amid reports he’d returned for pre-season training overweight.
However, the 27-year-old Frenchman certainly looked fit and firing yesterday in front of a big crowd at Benton.
And he linked well with youngster Adam Armstrong, who bagged a hat-trick to put himself back in the frame for a first-team recall.