ROLANDO Aarons is the star of Newcastle United’s pre-season so far, according to manager Alan Pardew.
The winger scored a stunning goal and set up another for Emmanuel Riviere in today’s 3-1 win over Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen.
Aarons ran half the length of the pitch and crossed for Riviere, who met his ball at the near post to open the scoring.
And the 18-year-old, signed from Bristol City two years ago, netted with a cross-cum-shot in the second half before Remy Cabella capped a memorable game with his first goal for the Tynesiders.
Donis Avdijaj netted an injury-time consolation goal for Schalke.
Aarons – who was born in Jamaica but moved to England as a child – signed a professional deal at Newcastle late last season, and Pardew believes he can have an impact in the Premier League this term.
“The real highlight of pre-season has been Rolando,” Pardew said.
“He was terrific again. It’s nice to see a young player really pushing, and I thought he caused real problems for Schalke – long may that continue.”
Asked if Aarons meant his goal, Pardew added: “He said he meant it.”
Pardew and his squad returned to Tyneside tonight ahead of Tuesday’s visit to Huddersfield Town (7.45pm kick-off).
The 53-year-old also praised Gabriel Obertan, who scored in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Malaga, who went on to win the Schalke 04 Cup after beating West Ham United 2-0 today.
Pardew admitted last week that Obertan’s future is likely to lie away from St James’s Park.
However, the winger could yet have a role to play for Newcastle this season.
“I was really pleased for our fans,” said Pardew.
“It was nice to hear them signing Gabriel Obertan’s name. He’s worked hard this summer, and if he takes that into the season it will be a bonus for us.”