It was way back in 2014, when Rolando Aarons was seen as the next big thing to come out of Newcastle’s academy.
The club’s former football development manager, Peter Beardsley, waxed lyrical about his abilities, and tipped him to reach the top. He said: “He’s like a flying left winger with good ability – really good ability. He’s one that we’ve got high hopes for in the first team. He’s probably the main one. We expect him to do good things.”
Unfortunately for the Magpies or even Aarons himself, things haven’t quite gone to plan since he burst onto the scene as an exciting youngster at St James’ Park.
The former England U20 international is now 24, and has completely fallen off the radar at Newcastle. Since playing in the Premier League in the 2014/2015 campaign, he has featured just 27 times for the first-team, and has had several indifferent spells out on loan at various different clubs.
The kinds of teams he’s been with since making his breakthrough feels like a who’s who, with Hellas Verona, FC Slovan Liberec, Sheffield Wednesday, Wycombe Wanderers and Motherwell all seeing him come and go without making any significant impression – he has scored just four goals in his last four years.
Now, with his contract at St James’ Park set to run out in the summer of 2021, Newcastle will have to make a ruthless decision about their former academy starlet.
Aarons has shown nothing to in recent times that he’s deserving of a new long-term deal to remain at the club, and sadly, is just wasting away his career by going out on loan constantly.
Letting him leave on a permanent basis would be an admission that his career hasn’t worked out, but it’s an outcome that would be best for all parties.