Last Friday brought news that Rolando Aarons had been called up for the England Under 20 squad.
Quite surprising that despite not being fit enough yet to start a game for Newcastle since his recent return from injury, the Newcastle winger was named in that national set-up to travel to the Toulon tournament this week.
Aarons had managed 25 minutes as a substitute against QPR 9 days ago and all eyes were on whether he was deemed fit enough to start against West Ham yesterdat, with Newcastle desperate for some inspiration on a matchday that would decide whether United stayed in the Premier League.
The 19 year old hadn’t featured for seven months in the Newcastle team after an injury plagued season, apart from that cameo as a substitute against QPR.
In the event, Rolando Aarons wasn’t named in the starting eleven yesterday, or even on the bench.
Despite no confirmation from the club, it would appear that surely only because he physically wasn’t able to play was the reason for his omission, rather than a preference for other players.
Ironically, Rolando Aarons’ injury troubles began when he made his international debut, scoring in a 6-0 win over Romania but returning to Newcastle with a hamstring injury back in September.
England have a busy schedule at the Toulon tournament and play Morocco (28th May), Ivory Coast (30th May), Mexico (3rd June) and China (5th June).
Now surely Newcastle have to say no to England and protect a player who will be expected to play a significant part next season, if United are going to bounce back from the near disaster we’ve all just experienced.
A young player who been out almost all season, just getting his fitness back and then goes away with his country for a busy four match schedule in the space of eight days.
When you are asked if you are fit to play for England are you really going to say no?
If Rolando Aarons wasn’t even fit enough to be on the bench for Newcastle v West Ham, then you surely have to say he shouldn’t be heading straight off on international duty. With clearly massive potential for him being sent back home with yet another sicknote from international duty.
(An interesting fact was that 7 of the 20 players in this England Under 20 squad were drafted in from Championship clubs. Maybe this should be a signal to Newcastle to heavily target promising young talent from the Championship rather than predominantly looking at budget signings from abroad, which have carried a very high failure rate.)