ROLANDO Aarons is flying for Newcastle United – after jetting halfway around the world.
The winger impressed in the Magpies’ 4-0 win over Sydney in New Zealand on Monday, and Aarons will get another run-out tomorrow against Wellington Phoenix (5.30am kick-off BST) before the squad makes the long journey back to Tyneside.
The pacy 18-year-old – signed from Bristol City two years ago – was lively on the left wing and combined well with full-back Massadio Haidara.
Manager Alan Pardew is hopeful Aarons – who signed a long-term contract late last season – can build on his positive first steps in pre-season and make greater strides over the coming weeks and months.
“Rolando’s the sort of player the fans will love – he’s obviously very quick,” Pardew said.
“He plays left side and gets crosses in, which is something we haven’t got in the group. He enjoys playing that role.
“We’ve had a couple of left-footed players who don’t actually like playing that side, but he has the pace to trouble any full-back.
“We’re hoping that he progresses.
“He’s still got a lot to do to be a Premier League player, but he’s working hard. He’s impressed me.”
Teenage striker Adam Armstrong scored after coming off the bench against Sydney.
And Pardew feels Armstrong, Aarons, centre-back Lubomir Satka and keeper Freddie Woodman are all making good progress.
“It was nice to see Rolando play so well – he’s pushing – and he and the new boys have added to our technical ability,” added Pardew.
“I’ve been here four years now and worked hard on this group – Lubo, Arma, Rolando and Freddie Woodman – and all four of those are progressing well.
“How much they’ll feature next season, we’ll wait and see.
“But I would say Rolando’s just heading that group in terms of a first-team option.”