AARONS IS CLOSING IN ON TOON COMEBACK
ROLANDO AARONS has handed under-fire Alan Pardew a welcome injury boost.
Newcastle’s highly-rated England youth winger is ahead of schedule in his bid to beat a hamstring problem that’s kept him out for six weeks.
Toon boss Pardew feared the 18-year-old would be out until the end of next month after picking up the injury on Under-20 international duty.
But the flying winger, who scored his first Premier League goal in the draw against Crystal Palace in August, hopes to return for Liverpool’s visit on November 1 after responding quicker than expected to treatment.
Pardew is sweating on the results of scans on Dutch star Tim Krul after Toon’s first-choice keeper returned early from international duty with an elbow problem suffered in training.
Shane Ferguson is set to quit Newcastle after being frozen out by Pardew.
The Northern Ireland defender fears his international hopes will suffer if he remains in the wings at St James’ Park.
The 23-year-old had a successful loan stint at Birmingham last season.
And the Derry-born full-back admits the time could be right to move on in order to remain a central part of national boss Michael O’Neill’s pans.
Ferguson made seven Premier League starts under Pardew in 2012, but has since fallen down the pecking order. A permanent move to St Andrew’s to link up with former Toon midfielder Lee Clark could be on the cards.
He admitted: “I need to get playing now because I want to be playing every international game.
“If I’m honest, I’ll probably have to go somewhere else.
“Alan Pardew has said he’s been impressed with me in training, but I’m still young so going out on loan could be a good thing for me.
“I don’t want to be sitting doing nothing, I’m not like that.”
RETURN: Rolando Aarons
ON HIS WAY: Ferguson