Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has shown a willingness to dip into the academy set-up at St. James’ Park as he has promoted Elliot Anderson to the first team this season.
At the age of 19, he has plenty of years left to fulfil his potential and it is down to him to put the performances in on the pitch, in training and in competitive games to warrant a place in the team.
Newcastle have had a number of promising young players come through their academy over the years and some made good on their promise, like Tim Krul and Andy Carroll, and others did not have as much success.
One young gem who flopped after initially showing potential at St. James’ Park was winger Rolando Aarons. He burst into the first team in the 2014/15 campaign at the age of 20, scoring two goals and assisting one in six matches in all competitions.
Former Toon boss Pardew previously hailed the young talent, saying: “He typifies what the Newcastle crowd want to see, taking people on and making things happen. Probably he was behind (Adam) Armstrong at that stage, though he’s just edged above him this pre-season. We’ve got two offensive players coming through the Academy, and if they can crack it in the first team that would be very lucky for us.”
Peter Beardsley, who was the club’s development manager, also tipped the attacker for big things. 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.”
The young gem then played 10 Premier League games in the 2015/16 campaign, scoring once and assisting one, but was never able to establish himself as a regular fixture in the team, with six separate injuries and a lack of consistent end product across his first three years in the first-team causing him to fall out of favour.
He failed to produce a goal or assist in 11 league matches for the Terriers between his move to the club and the end of the 2021/22 campaign and this led to him being sent out on loan to Motherwell in Scotland at the start of this season.
This means that he is currently playing in the Premiership at the age of 26 after being compared to the likes of Zaha and Sterling at the start of his Newcastle career. He should be at the peak of his powers at his age but he has not lived up to the potential that many believed he had when he first burst onto the scene.