SHANE Ferguson faces an uncertain future at Newcastle United.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Birmingham City, but found starts hard to come by in the latter months of the Blues’ ultimately successful battle to beat the drop in the Championship, failing to feature in the closing weeks.
The Northern Ireland international now finds himself out in the cold at St James’s Park and, like first-team outcasts Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux, has been training with Newcastle’s development squad this week.
Ferguson now faces a battle to persuade manager Alan Pardew that he can be part of the Magpies’ future.
Ferguson – who made his first-team debut four years ago and can play on the left wing and at full-back – showed great promise in his early performances for Newcastle.
In the summer of 2011, he was handed a long-term deal which still has two years left to run.
Meanwhile, midfielder Mehdi Abeid, who impressed on loan at Panathinaikos last season, could make his first appearance for Newcastle in almost a year when the Tynesiders visit Oldham for their opening pre-season friendly on Tuesday.