Rolando Aarons – The Tale of the Immensely Talented Youngster Struck with Eternal Misfortune

Rolando Aarons – The Tale of the Immensely Talented Youngster Struck with Eternal Misfortune
May 16, 2016


Rolando Aarons came into the 2014-15 season full of confidence. The winger had just completed an outstanding pre-season and looked set to break into the first team.

He carried over his excellent pre-season form into the Premier League campaign. Against Crystal Palace, Aarons came on as a sub and was a constant threat down the left-hand side. He tore Martin Kelly to shreds and got a deserved goal for his efforts. He could’ve got a second, as well, but it hit the post and fell to Mike Williamson who tapped it in.

It was all looking so positive for the former Bristol City youngster. Just 18 years of age at the time, Aarons looked set for a very bright future and was ready to make a name for himself.

He had to be fit for that to happen, though, and, unfortunately – for the majority of the season – he wasn’t. It seemed as soon he would recover from one injury he would pick up another. It was impossible for him to get into a rhythm. The rare occasions in which he was fit only increased the hype around the kid.

Against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup, Aarons found his way onto the scoresheet on a memorable night for Toon supporters as Newcastle defeated the former champions 2-0 on their own turf.

The Toon faithful was left wanting more and hoped the 2015-16 campaign would be the season Aarons showcased his abundance of talent.

Instead of going on vacation like most players do in the summer, Aarons opted to remain in England and work on his game. He was determined to prove his critics wrong and let his feet do the talking.

It looked like that hard work was paying off. Once again, Aarons had a fantastic pre-season. He reminded Toon supporters of the pace, creativity, and directness in which he possesses.

One month into the season, Aarons was dealt another setback when he suffered a calf injury which would rule him out for several weeks.

It was a cruel blow for a player who worked so hard to not only get into the first team but to become a crucial part of it.

To make matters worse, as Aarons finally looked set to return, he was dealt yet another setback as he limped out of training after coming off worst in a 50-50 challenge with a teammate. He was forced to wear a protective boot on his right foot and was in need of crutches.

He really could not catch a break.

He has, however, gone unscathed ever since then. When he did get a chance in the first team, it was not in his preferred position on the wing where he could put his nimble feet to good use. He was forced to fill in at left back by Steve McClaren because of the injuries to both Dummett and Haidara.

He actually was not too bad, considering he had probably never played there in his life. But it was a waste of the talent in which he possesses going forward.

Once Dummett returned, he was used sparingly by both McClaren and Rafa Benitez after him. He sat on the bench while players like Yoan Gouffran were picked over him.

It was a tough time for Aarons, finally fit but not able to get in the team. This was nothing, though, compared to the challenges he had faced in the last two years of his career. He simply kept his head down, worked hard in training, and waited for his chance.

That chance came on the last day of the season against Tottenham. Sent on by Benitez with fifteen minutes remaining in the game, Aarons most certainly grasped his chance – scoring one and assisting one in his brief cameo.

In the Championship, Aarons could finally get the chance to nail himself down as a first team regular, and possibly as more than that. His performance on the last day of the season was just a reminder of what this Newcastle side have been missing for the better part of two years.

Hopefully next season is the season he can finally have the stellar individual campaign he deserves.

If he does well, it is more likely the team as a whole will do the same.

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